It was September when Gossips last reported on the ramp. At that time, the Common Council had just passed a resolution authorizing the mayor to execute a contract with Tighe & Bond to create the engineering drawings for the ramp. Those drawings in hand, the construction of the ramp could begin in the spring. But alas, somewhere in the preliminary work of Tighe & Bond, or perhaps even before they got started, it was discovered that 500,000 volts of electricity ran from this transformer, tucked away in the corner of the parking lot for 1 North Front Street, underground into the park, following the very path of the proposed ramp.
Trying to move the utility to allow for the construction of the ramp as it was designed, it seems, would add another $1 million to the cost. As a consequence, a ramp of some sort is part of the "Promenade Hill Park Gate & Plaza Renovation" being proposed for DRI funding.
Rob Perry revealed last night at the Public Works & Parks Committee meeting that the State Historic Preservation Office will be involved in the process. The following is quoted from his report:
We have since received Historical Sanborn Map Reports and NYSDOT initiated a consultation with SHPO with respect to the existing bridge. The bridge was not included in the 2002 Historic Eligibility Survey conducted by the NYSDOT, and as a result, SHPO is now requiring that the bridge must be evaluated for historical eligibility before they can make an impact determination.Perry's report also indicates that Hartgen Archeological Associates will be undertaking the eligibility evaluation and the Phase 1A archaeological survey. The Ferry Street Bridge was built in 1905 and is called "an extremely unusual and historic structure" on the website HistoricBridges.org.
The engineering of the bridge--what exists beneath the roadway--is now being designed. Asked when the visible part of the bridge would be designed, Perry indicated that would probably begin in about six months and suggested that SHPO would be involved in approving the design. Because of federal requirements for higher clearance over railroad tracks, Perry said the new bridge "will have an arc to it." That requirement suggests that the new bridge cannot replicate the historic bridge.
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