Mott Haven Residents Blame Lengthy Construction Delays On ‘Total Incompetence’

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — One of the busiest intersections in the city is a mess due to a large construction project that’s now years behind schedule.

The project has gone on for so long, that people aren’t sure how long it’s been.

“About 2 years, 3 years maybe,” Tina Rodriguez said.

“Almost 4 to 5 years,” another person said.

“I’m not exactly sure, but it’s been way over the limit,” James Pope told CBS2’s Reena Roy.

They’ve had the same view for so long, it’s hard to say when exactly it all started.

“Sticks out like a sore thumb, it makes it look bad,” Rodriguez said.

The city’s DDC — the Department of Design and Construction — confirmed the agency started the project more than three years ago. High fencing, work material, and trash took over a shopping district known as ‘the hub’ while workers reconstructed Roberto Clemente Plaza in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx.

“They could’ve been done. I don’t know why it’s taking them so long,” Pope said.

Even though The Hub is one of the busiest shopping districts in the borough, business owners fear they won’t last long if this continues to steer customers away.

“My business is affected more than 50 percent, and I’m losing a lot of money, and I’m about to close my business because I cannot survive,’ Iqbal Memon said.

A DDC spokesperson said things were originally supposed to wrap up in November of 2015, with a tree lined public space, new crosswalks, and curbs.

They gave a slew of reasons for the major delay; claiming a contractor declared bankruptcy during the project which was a lengthy setback, plus workers discovered incorrectly labeled water mains, and previously unmarked MTA property below the job site changing the plaza design. Necessary materials were also shipped late from China.

“I would just say total incompetence,” Ed Garcia Conde said.

A DDC spokesperson said work should be complete this November, exactly 2 years later than originally expected.

 

 

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