Con Ed upgrade expected to block sidewalks in August, or longer

We’re seeing the early signs of the Con Ed West Side upgrade. Last week workers started cutting up the sidewalks between 8th and 9th Avenues, and yesterday a large pile of gas pipes appeared on the block. A few test holes have already been dug and repaired with tar patches.

According to Con Ed and its sub-contractor, Network Infrastructure Inc. (NII), we will soon see crews digging up our sidewalks in order to lay-in new gas mains. You can already see where they will be working by the white paint marks on the sidewalk. They say the pipes must go under the sidewalks as the street is already full of infrastructure.

The gas lines will start on the north-east corner of 9th and 45th; crossing the street to the south side, going eastward to mid-block, then crossing the street again to the north side in front of the Whitby, and continuing on to Eighth Avenue intersection. Beyond that, the pipes will go to 46th Street and connect to a larger main line.

The crews are now on the west side of Ninth Avenue. They had expected to be on our block by now. But according to one of the foremen, the work has been going slower than expected. Another source tells us they might make the move to our block as early as Thursday. So getting accurate information is seemingly elusive. The permits were to expire on July 24th, but they have been extended to August 29th.

According to NII, entrances to buildings are expected to be blocked for a short time only. They said they would place steel plates over the open holes so residents may enter or exit their buildings.

Once they jump Ninth Avenue, work is expected to last about three weeks. Holes and trenches will be temporarily patched. NII tells us that about 30 days after the work is completed, they will restore the sidewalks to their original condition, using concrete instead of tar.

From the looks of things, this work is likely to last the better part of August. We can only hope it goes quicker. If we’re able to get more information, we’ll pass it along.