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A walkthrough was held by Community Board #2 Manhattan (CB2) on Thursday, March 23, 2023 to observe conditions in the area bounded by Canal St. (south), Grand St. (north), Thompson St. (east) and Varick St. (west) in relation to projects that are or will be taking place in and around that vicinity and whose activities, in some cases, may overlap.

Those in attendance included representatives from MTA NYC Transit (NYCT), the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), the NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation (DPR), the NYC Dept. of Transportation (DOT), Trinity Church Wall Street , Taconic Investment Partners, the Hudson Square Business Improvement District, NYS Senator Brian Kavanagh, NYS Assembly Member Deborah Glick, NYC Council Member Christopher Marte, and members of CB2. The sign-in sheet attachment lists all those attending but Rich Caccapolo, CB2 Parks/Waterfront Committee chair and Shirley Secunda, CB2 Traffic/Transportation Committee chair, who also attended but didn’t sign in.

The purpose of the walkthrough was to learn more about the conduct of the following projects that at times will occur at the same time in the same area, in relation to each other’s operations and to assure an ongoing exchange of information, coordination of activities and of schedules to avoid negative impacts:

  • NYCT – power substation construction, already underway, underneath the Grand Canal Courts, intersection of Thompson St., Canal St., & 6th Ave. – continuing to the end of 2025 (the surface level park will reopen in the 3rd Quarter of 2024).
  •  DEP – sewage pumping station replacement, Canal & Sullivan Sts. (directly across the street from NYCT’s project) – 2024 to 2026.
  • Taconic – construction of 465-ft.-tall, 26-story building at 76 Varick St. (to be called 2 Hudson Sq.) beginning 2024 pursuant to a 99-year ground lease with Trinity Church Wall Street currently in final negotiations.

These also would need to be considered in relation to the Holland Tunnel North Tube nighttime closure for Hurricane Sandy repairs by Port Authority (PANYNJ) through the 3rd quarter of 2025.

Discussed at the Walkthrough

 NYCT Substation Project – At present motor vehicles can come south (next to the project barrier) on Thompson St. from Grand to Canal St.  When digging up on Thompson to move utilities, a locked gate will be set up in the middle of that block (south of Grand) to prevent traffic from entering, but a lane will be preserved for pedestrian access. The site is active 7am-4:30 pm. Above groundwork is done only on weekdays.  Deliveries occur primarily when pouring concrete (takes 4 hours).  Other deliveries are sporadic.  Cement trucks line up on 6th Ave.  They back into the yard with flagging.  Currently staging is done at the 55 Hudson Sq. (76 Varick) development site.  DOT allows this temporary spot for staging.  There is no permit.  It will be used until they’re forced to leave (so far, no alternative has been ascertained).  A Project Hotline has been set up: 212-431-3993.

DEP Sewage Pumping Station Project – The vent tower will be 11-12 ft. tall and in the sidewalk on Canal St.  Staging will be on the north part of Sullivan St. and a small part of Duarte Sq., mostly for the field office (trailer). (Sullivan and Duarte are on the same level). Pedestrians won’t be able to access Sullivan when work is going on.  One or two box trucks and five pickup trucks are typically used in a day; five trucks are the maximum in a typical day. Two lanes on Canal St. (next to the project) will be closed from 11pm-7am for 3 months (probably within the last 3-5 months). Flagging is used, and if necessary, DOT would have NYPD do enforcement. Maintenance is done regularly for about 15-20 minutes, avoiding interference with the schedule. DEP repaves when the project is completed.  DOT will put DEP in touch with their permit office to coordinate relocation of the bike share area.  DEP has met with Taconic and they will coordinate.

Taconic/Trinity – The project will be initiated in 2024 with construction from 2025 through 2026.  The first six stories will be a public school. (approximately 444 school seats).  There’s a 6-month agreement between Trinity and h NYCT re staging and month to month after the 6 months.  Taconic has yet to coordinate with DOT re their own staging and other plans.  They expect Varick St. will have staging and truck access.  DOT is involved on the periphery. Varick St. at Grand St. will be the entryway.  Mitigation: Trucks will be washed down, and flagging will be used.

Taconic/Trinity will consider working with DEP to  provide a hotline together for the public in 2024.

All have agreed to come back to CB2 in the future to report on their coordination of activities and mitigation and to provide project updates.

In addition, PANYNJ has expressed their willingness to speak with whomever they need to in order to make sure they’re coordinating across agencies.

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