Source: NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation

Source: NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz wants the city to admit defeat on their plans to erect public bathrooms in front of the Oceana luxury condominiums (50 Oceana Drive West) and just forgo the plans completely. Cymbrowitz’s announcement comes on the heels of reports that similarly installed stations on Far Rockaway have already begun rusting and leaking.

The controversial bathroom project, which also include lifeguard shacks and maintenance structures, was approved in the wake of Superstorm Sandy and put up quickly to be ready for the summer beach season. The construction and installation of the 35 units, spread out over Staten Island, Rockaway Beach, Coney Island and Brighton Beach, cost an estimated $105 million. The structures were built by Triton Construction and designed by Garrison Architects with the intention of meeting all of the latest FEMA specifications and guidelines. According to DNAinfo, the units installed along Rockaway Beach have already started to deteriorate:

But while the shacks were intended to be strong enough to withstand the next superstorm, those who have used them say they are already falling apart — including at least one structure that has duct tape securing its railings for the handicapped-accessible ramp.

“I look at it now and I say, ‘Is this going to last the winter?’” said one lifeguard assigned to Far Rockaway, who asked not to be identified. “There’s leaks right next to the equipment closet. They left it half-done and now there’s problems. The job was done like people didn’t care. It’s a monstrosity. It’s a debacle.”

Photos shared with DNAinfo show the units — some of which are public bathrooms and others that are lifeguard stations — lined with rust and beginning to show wall cracks before the summer has even finished.

“The insides are starting to rust and they leak all over the place,” said another lifeguard who works out of a shack on Rockaway Beach.

While the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) did admit to using some temporary materials in the construction of the lifeguard stations and bathrooms, they defended against the notion that the buildings were beginning to rust:

On Friday afternoon, the DDC sent DNAinfo New York a video showing a department employee scrubbing a portion of a unit with a Clorox wipe and a sponge. They said the cleaning shows it’s “not rust, just dirt — which likely adhered to adhesive left behind from when the pieces were wrapped in plastic for delivery,” a spokesman said.

In our area, complaints over the new units were most vocal from tenants living in the Oceana condominium complex. Original reports had them most concerned over the idea that the bathrooms would wreck their views of the ocean and attract homeless people and teenagers looking to cause trouble. Fearing that their initial complaints were not being taken seriously, Oceana residents used their political heft to get politicians like Cymbrowitz and Senator Charles Schumer involved, and the opposition evolved to include concerns about cost overruns and safety issues.

The bathrooms scheduled to be built in front of the Oceana still remain parked at the end of the boardwalk because workers hit bedrock in their effort to lay the foundation, forcing a delay in construction. As the summer season is fast ending, Cymbrowitz is calling for the city to just give up in a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“It is evident that the tens of thousands of people who visited our beautiful beach this season managed to survive just fine without having a comfort station in front of the Oceana. That said, it’s high time for the city to pack up its pail and shovel (along with the cement piles still sitting near the Oceana), clean up the mess it made on our beach, and go home,” Cymbrowitz wrote.

Cymbrowitz asked the city to involve the city residents in any future plans regarding the boardwalk.

“The only fair solution to this protracted boondoggle is for the city to start from square one, keep an ear firmly tuned to the community’s wishes and build the comfort stations further west on the Boardwalk,” Cymbrowitz said.

Despite the calls of Cymbrowitz and others, the Parks Department is still planning to install the last of the units in the fall. The DDC also told DNAinfo that they are committed to keeping the units spiffy after Labor Day.

“We will also be performing some cosmetic work, including refinishing portions of the stainless steel surfaces on the modular units,” a DDC spokesman said.

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  • Kman

    This is just another example of municipal incompetence and the arrogance of the Bloomberg administration. The city went forward with this project over the objections of the surrounding community. And then, they couldn’t get it done properly and on time. Perhaps the city should have enlisted Donald Trump to install these facilities. He fixed the Wollman ice skating rink in just a few short months after city incompetents dithered for years.

  • Caring guest

    Totally agree with a comment, there is no thinking business head in many city projects. Our money are being wasted, it’s like we have extra!!

  • DownWithFascists

    They begged, they pleaded, they demonstrated against, they wrote letters, the proved their case in court – all to no avail.
    The government for the people and by the people keeps bullying oceanfront communities and pushing the monstrous prison camp trailer latrines down the throat of the surrounding communities.
    Nothing but a fascist clique of maniacs and tasteless to boot.
    What a shame, what a profound lack of civility.
    They wouldn’t dare to put this sht up in the Hamptons where the fine folk lives.
    No, this stuff is exclusively for your local second class brooklenite consumption.
    Some say they are simply thieves who stole the money.
    Clearly… How can a bathroom cost $6 million?
    The same project in Mississippi is mere $600,000.
    But then again it’s Mississippi, what do they know from New York’s liberal fascist mafia!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    So only remove the ones that are in front of the 0ceana, because these are the only people that count.

    Let’s see who wins the war of vested interests against the public good.

    • The Truther

      You seem to be mostly concern with how to inflict damage upon Oceana, rather than public good or common sense.
      It seems that you are not bothered by how ugly, unsafe and uncivilized these crappers look on the beautiful oceanfront.
      You keep asking “why just in front of Oceana?”.
      The ones in front of Oceana are just 30 (thirty!!!)yards away from a human dwelling and will be almost half the height of the adjacent residential building. Doesn’t it strike you as uncivilized?
      The ones in front of West 2 are more than 500 yards away.
      Apparently West 2nd residents are less concerned with the bathrooms. There is not a single one built west of Coney Island amusement park?!

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        When an apartment house was built in the 1960s blocking the northern exposure of my house and destroying the view it was annoying, but within their right. After all, they have to build on their property.

        The ones in Rockaway Park are less than 30 yards from apartment houses. Far as I know the residents have not complained.

        You bought a residence. You do not own the view.

        • The Truther

          So far as you know?! – You know nothing.
          Rockaways guys resisted vigorously, they managed to prevent one bathroom from building at all. They simply couldn’t collect enough money for the attorneys this time.
          There is a huge resistance at Rockaways and they will prevail. They will. As soon as this punk city hall goes away.
          So I was right in my assumptions – you are just bitter. Bitter to the point that this ugliness in front of people’s homes endears your heart.
          I imagine you’d be utterly pleased if everyone who is more successful in life got cancer. You are that kind of a miserable character, aren’t you? :) :) :)

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            So let me get this this straight, you beliebve that having money gives people the right to have things exactly as they wish.

            Sorry, in a democracy it is not supposed to work like that.

            People who object to the sense of entitlement that some believe they have are not bitter. They just believe in an even playing field.

          • The Truther

            you are a moron Lisanne.
            Entitlement?! What are you talking about you idiot you?.
            In civilized society three story crappers are not supposed to be built 30 yards in front of a human dwelling.
            If it were another residential building, a library, a hospital anything that doesn’t involve shit and piss no one would ever say a word. Get it into your stupid head you imbecile.

  • brianbeach85

    a lifeguard in NYC used the word debacle? Very surprised.

  • IMHO

    These are high prices condos. If I were living there I would be equally outraged.
    Wonder how the residents of Central Park South would feel if public bathrooms were erected along the park!? …

    • IMHO

      Come to think of it.. If public bathrooms were set up across the street from my modest shack I would be furious! No one wants their property values to decrease.

  • BrooklynBus

    It’s a shame that the City coudn’t even install a single Porto-potty east of Brighton Second Street to serve the people until permanent buildings could be built. Bloomberg couldn’t care less about the populace. You should see the beautiful temporary bathroom vans they use in Long Beach with a wood grain interior. They woud be too good for us.

    And don’t believe for a minute that those lifeguard stations were planned after Sandy. They were all supposed to be bathrooms because the city mistakenly believed all the bathrooms were beyond repair. If any were designed as lifeguard stations they would e single structures not double ones. Is there a lifeguard station for men and another for women? It was a last minute change so as not to admit a huge mistake in which no one was fired.

  • guest

    You dare refer to Bloomberg as simply mayor? He is King Bloomberg you lowly peasants. Who do you think you are? You are nothing. You have no say. Do you dare think we are living in a democracy?!?! Throw yourself to the lions you ungrateful swines!

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