Sixteen months have passed since Superstorm Sandy, and the damaged lights on the Belt Parkway from Knapp Street to Mill Basin remain in the dark. But not for much longer if the Department of Transportation keeps its word.
According to a Daily News item last week, the city will begin bringing lights back to the area in April. It’s a $400,000 project that should be covered with federal funds, and the project is slated to be completed in May.
“This is a huge problem, especially due to the potholes, which made it difficult for motorists,” City Councilman Alan Maisel told the paper. “It’s outrageous.”
Of course, the DOT’s word is hardly its bond. The DOT had previously promised then-Assemblyman Maisel and his Council predecessor Lew Fidler that the lighting situation would be permanently fixed by fall of 2013 – and that temporary lighting would be provided in the interim. Neither of those things happened.
Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo has stated at meetings the she was told by the DOT that the plan for temporary lighting was ultimately nixed because they required gas generators. The city did not want to dispatch employees to keep them stocked with gasoline.