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Queens Chronicle

New contractor for Metro/FPR project

Leaders hope stalled bridge deck replacement work wraps by the fall

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Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2018 10:30 am

A new contractor has been selected to pick up where the old one left off at Metropolitan Avenue and Fresh Pond Road on the Middle Village-Ridgewood line.

Almost three months after the city’s contract with Mugrose Construction to replace the bridge deck below the intersection defaulted, the Department of Transportation announced Monday that New Jersey-based Beaver Concrete Construction has been tapped to finish the long-delayed project.

“In business since 1946 and a member of the General Contractors Association of New York, Beaver Concrete Construction has completed several bridge rehabilitation projects for the DOT, including repairs to the Trans-Manhattan Expressway Connector Ramp in Manhattan,” the agency said in a press release. “It is also currently under contract for a multi-bridge component rehabilitation project for bridges in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.”

The three-stage project was intially slated to wrap up in January, but there were months of delays before any piece of heavy equipment was even moved into place — thanks to a longer-than-expected design approval process and problems getting the necessary work permits in mid-2016.

Last summer, construction was put on hold yet again, thanks to the two-month shutdown of the M train. During that subway-related project, Metropolitan Avenue was temporarily restored to four full traffic lanes to allow shuttle buses to easily move through the area.

But when the M train was brought back online in September, area leaders have said Mugrose workers never returned to the area, resulting in the contract’s default three months later.

Handling the rebidding of the project was Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. of America.

A DOT spokesman said Tuesday the agency was working with Beaver to develop an updated timeline as to when the project will be completed.

Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village) said in a Tuesday statement that he did not know of any timeline and didn’t want to speculate, but the lawmaker hopes the project wraps up by the end of the summer.

“I am glad DOT finally announced that a new contractor has been selected,” Holden said. “I will say that I believe end of the year is too late. If you’re asking when I think it should be finished, I’d like to see construction wrapped up by August.”

Last Wednesday, Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano told members that a new contractor had been picked, causing some to applaud.

“You mean we don’t have to hear you complain about Mugrose anymore?” CB 5 Public Transportation Services Committee Co-chairman John Maier joked.

“Hopefully I won’t be complaining about the replacement of Mugrose,” Giordano responded, adding that he heard the DOT wanted the project done by September.

Reached by the Chronicle on Tuesday, a representative for Beaver who answered the phone said that, as part of the construction company’s contract, entity employees may not speak to the press.

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