Another Parks Department artificial turf field project in construction has hit major cost overruns, environmental problems, and delays. Work on the Owl Hollow artificial turf field at Staten Island's former Fresh Kills Landfill stopped months ago because the site was found to be sinking. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.
Originally estimated to cost $6.8 million in 2006, the project's price tag has ballooned to $14 million and climbing. About $4.5 million was spent cleaning the site after the state Department of Environmental Conservation discovered it was contaminated with toxic PCBs, an issue that should have been caught before the project went out to bid. Sources say the the project was not engineered properly but that the DPR was trying to pin the blame on the contractor. Sources also said that the sub-surface investigation done prior to bidding was either inadequate or done properly but ignored.
The disastrous Dreier-Offerman artificial turf field project in Brooklyn, and Harris Field in the Bronx are park projects currently in construction that are also suffering from vast cost overruns, environmental problems, and long delays.
The foundation for the four artificial turf soccer fields dropped between eight inches and a foot. Remediation is expected to cost millions and add years to completion of the project.
Mayor Bloomberg's ambitious plan to turn a former Staten Island landfill into a massive public park is sinking — literally, according to the New York Post.
The city has hit a major snag in the early stages of a three-decade effort to transform the 2,200-acre former Fresh Kills Landfill along the West Shore Expressway into green space nearly triple the size of Central Park.
The project's long-delayed first segment -- bringing four soccer fields and other amenities to 28 acres at the edge of the former garbage dump -- is on hold again because its foundation is sinking.
SUNK: A sinking foundation has stalled construction of Owl Hollow artificial turf field, here in an artist's rendering, on Staten Island's former Fresh Kills Landfill. The site is located along the West Shore Expressway, adjacent to the Arden Heights Woods.
Parks Department workers and the contractor hired to build Owl Hollow Fields for the Fresh Kills Park project believe tons of sand laid out as foundation fill has dropped between eight inches and a foot, sources close to the project told The Post.
If problems like this are happening at this stage, just imagine when they try building thousands of acres in the heart of the landfill," said Geoffrey Croft, of watchdog group New York City Park Advocates.
Workers for Brooklyn-based D. Gangi Contracting began laying the fill in October 2009. By August of last year, they noticed materials appeared to be sinking.
The contractor and city are now bickering over who's responsible for paying the potentially millions of dollars in extra costs to ensure the ground is sturdy enough, sources said.
Originally estimated to cost $6.8 million in 2006, the project price tag is already up to $14 million. About $4.5 million was spent cleaning the site after the state Department of Environmental Conservation discovered it was contaminated with toxic PCBs.
The city had previously claimed the Owl Hollow site was never used as a dump, only as a staging area for equipment. But workers uncovered refuse during construction, sources said.
The Owl Hollow project was announced in 2006 as part of the mayor's larger Fresh Kills project. The environmental cleanup delayed construction three years.
D. Gangi was hired to build the fields in October 2008 for $6.8 million and was supposed to have completed the job by late 2009. The city says it now expects the fields to be done by December.
But Donald Gangi, head of D. Gangi, said that the fields are "just 15, 20 percent complete" due to unanticipated holdups and that it'll take at least two more years to finish.
A Parks Department spokeswoman said the city "is working with the contractor to determine if sinking is occurring, and we will take the appropriate steps once the condition of the site is determined."
The Fresh Kills Landfill collected city waste from 1947 to 2001. By 1997, two of the four mounds were closed and covered with an impermeable cap. The entire landfill received its last barge of garbage in March 2001.
Portions were used as a sifting station to find human remains from World Trade Center rubble after the 9/11 attack.
This new 15 - acre site is being developed as a multi-use park and recreation space in accordance with the Preliminary Mater Plan for the Fresh Kills Landfill.