Department of Parks and Recreation officials say renovations to Fort Independence Park will not be complete until the fall — at least the second delay to the project this year.
The work, which has made northern parts of the park inaccessible, was originally scheduled to be done by April 8.
In March, Mike Sansore, the superintendent of the Brooklyn-based construction company in charge of remodeling the park, said the site would most likely not be fully accessible until June at the earliest.
According to Community Board (CB) 8’s Parks and Recreation Committee Chairman Bob Bender, the park’s renovation date was then extended to August 31. Now, the park is slated to be completed by fall, Parks officials confirmed.
In an e-mail Philip Abramson, a spokesperson for the Department of Parks and Recreation, explained that since Fort Independence Park is covered with mature trees, contractors have to exercise caution during the development to avoid damage to the tree roots. This meant that the majority of excavation had to be done by hand, which proved to be a time-consuming process.
“Complications resulting from the tree roots, as well as issues acquiring the water service permits, have delayed the work,” Abramson added.
But in a recent step forward, a construction fence that shut local residents and dog owners out of a grassy hill north of the comfort station at Fort Independence Park has been moved to give park goers more access to the open green space. The construction fence, which originally cut halfway through the hill, has been moved farther north past the hill. The move came at the behest of Councilman Andrew Cohen.
“It’s green space that we all sort of use everyday,” said Kristin Hart, 45, president of the Fort Independence Park Neighborhood Association. “Not having it wasn’t a major crisis, but it was an inconvenience.”