Dump-Turned-Park on SI Faces Delays

By Geoffrey Decker
|  Monday, Mar 14, 2011  |  Updated 6:45 PM EDT
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Dump-Turned-Park on SI Faces Delays

AP

This 2005 artist's rendering, released by The Museum of Modern Art, of what the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island, N.Y., is expected to look like after it is landscaped and reclaimed.

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The first phase of a plan to transform a Staten Island dump from an eyesore into a 2,200-acre urban oasis could be delayed because the ground beneath it is unstable and unsafe for construction.

The Parks Department is investigating the problem, which was brought to its attention last week when the contractor in charge of building Owl Hollow Fields, a 21-acre lot that will include athletic fields, a picnic area and hiking trails, complained that the crushed rock it had laid down as foundation had been sinking significantly.

A project manager for the contractor, D. Gangi Contracting, confirmed that the project is on hold.

Workers began laying foundation fill in October 2009 and noticed last year the materials appeared to be sinking, according to the New York Post.

The city and the contractor are now reportedly arguing over who's responsible.

The cost of the project was originally $6.8 million and has ballooned to $14 million.

The Parks Department said in a statement that it is "sending out a crew of surveyors this week to document the current grades."

"Other surveys will be taken over the next two to three months," the department said. "After the subsequent surveys are taken, the data will be reviewed to determine if there is a settlement problem."

The city unveiled its 30-year plan for Fresh Kills Park 2006, but development was delayed almost immediately when PCBs were found and the Department of Environment shut it down.

The city closed the Fresh Kills Landfill, the world’s largest dump, 2001 after more than five decades collecting the city’s trash.

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