Replacement of Tram Elevators Moves Forward at Last

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) has completed negotiation with a contractor for the long awaited renovation of the Tram elevator on the Manhattan side, said RIOC President Susan Rosenthal at a Community Board 8 meeting held at Good Shepherd Community Center Wednesday evening.

Proposed design for replacement elevators.

“The entire footprint will change. It’s going to be beautiful, very dramatic, and it will be a statement on Second Avenue,” she said. “And it will be functional.”

According to Russo, Peter Scalamandre & Sons, Inc, the bidder, has a lot of public work on its resume that is much larger than these projects.

“It’s not a big project to them, it’s a shiny project.” he said. “These are people who have done a lot of the glass MTA elevators, Long Island Rail Road, Port Authority, World Trade Center.”

“It’s good that the only bidder happened to be a competent one,” added Russo. This was the second time RIOC had put out a search for a contractor. Because there was only one bidder, RIOC hired an independent evaluator to estimate the cost of the project so they could assess whether Scalamandre’s proposal was fair. The number came in close enough that Russo said RIOC felt “very comfortable.”

The new design would replace the existing elevator and wheelchair lift with two new ADA-compliant glass elevators. Once the project starts, construction is expected to take a year to complete.

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