The Gillespie Group either said earlier this week or late last week that construction would start next month. Lo and behold they moved some heavy equipment on the site last night, it seems, two large bulldozers and two large excavators.
That is exciting news. Have they published any new/final depictions of the buildings planned?
Picture of the equipment from Monday courtesy Gillespie Group's twitter:
Out this evening and noticed they'd but up the barriers, today. Gillespie Group's Twitter confirmed it:
They didn't photograph it, but the barrier includes the entire property, of course, which means all of the houses on Barnard. It was weird to see Liskey's in the middle of all of this, and will be even weirder once they start excavation and it really looks like an island.
So is that sidewalk completely inaccessible now for pedestrians? Will pedestrians be forced to cross to the north side of Michigan Ave to continue?
I'd imagine so; it's not different than what they did or are doing for Center City, Park District or The Hub along Grand River, Abbot, Albert and Bogue.
Yeah, even though it is no different I still wish we would prioritize pedestrian access. Other cities are able to pull it off. Especially in this area there is no crosswalk east of the project for a couple blocks. So someone who is a little slower moving might need to turn around and walk a couple blocks back to cross safely at a designated crosswalk, or end up walking along the curb or crossing unsafely.
My guess is like those other projects, once they finish excavation, they open back up the sidewalk. I believe they do this to stop potential debris from flying at pedestrians when they are initially breaking the surface and excavating. Would have been nice to see them have a covered walkway from the beginning, but it looks like that's not meant to be.
I also kind of wish projects of this size would have their own pages like East Lansing does, which show construction schedules and public infrastructure shutdowns, detours and such. I imagine that the public service department will eventually put out a notice on this, but I'm kind of surprised they didn't do this before they'd closed down the sidewalk. The puublic service department has been really quiet lately, and I'm not sure why. Looks like before today, their last social media post has been on the 19th. And they make no mention of this particular sidewalk closure in their two social media posts from today. And their last official press release is from early November.
New York City has an awesome law that requires construction sites to post a "What's going on here" sign as well as a rendering, who to contact, etc.
This page has some details,
This is an example of the "What's Going On Here" sign,
(found on https://performancespacenewyork.org/renovation-signage/)
Jared, a bit of an update. It looks like the concrete barriers you see have not been moved, which means they are being used to create a barrier between auto traffic and the fence. So it appears that pedestrians have just been moved to the parking lane, instead of this side of the street being made totally inaccesssible.
BTW, demolition permits were issued last Tuesday according to the property look-up tool.