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The original item was published from 7/11/2018 1:37:32 PM to 8/1/2018 12:00:01 AM.

News Flash


Posted on: July 11, 2018

[ARCHIVED] RIOC President's Message July 10, 2018



July 10, 2018


Healthy Building International Inc. has been retained by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) to conduct water sampling and analysis at several drinking water fountain locations in parks and playgrounds across Roosevelt Island, RIOC President and CEO Susan Rosenthal said Tuesday.

The tests are designed to provide a comprehensive analysis of the water and to confirm its acceptability for consumption. The samples will be compared with the relevant federal Department of Environmental Protection (EPA) contaminant levels of microbials, metals and inorganic substances.

A plumbing engineer selected from RIOC’s newly formed A&E (Architectural and Engineering) Services committee (a panel of qualified, multi-disciplined architects and engineers) will help RIOC officials interpret the results, draft and consider potential solutions. The water analysis and a downstream review is focused on each specific point of water line connection to each actual fountain or public use spigot or valve.

RIOC announced last Friday that it was immediately shutting down water fountains after concerns, raised by Roosevelt Island resident Frank Farance, about potential water source line issues prompted the agency to schedule the analysis.

“As-built drawings” – the final set of drawings a contractor files to document work, changes, construction processes and the location of all elements of the work completed and maintained -  were not archived for work at all the parks and playgrounds built in the early 1970s and maintained thereafter. Those drawings also could document whether the playground fountains are connected to the irrigation lines or drinking water lines in the area.

RIOC had the “as-builts” for Southpoint Park’s drinking fountain from 2010 and can verify that the water is from its domestic line not the park’s irrigation system. It was revealed during a recent water use disagreement with Wildlife Freedom Fund (WWF), which runs cat sanctuaries on the Island, that the WWF was using for its Southpoint sanctuary. (WWF has since said it was willing to continue to use “not potable,” water for their Southpoint sanctuary).

Without the “as-built” drawings for the other drinking fountains on the Island, RIOC cannot be certain about the connection source of all the other fountains.

In addition to this project, The A&E Services group is expected to help RIOC manage capital projects, infrastructure maintenance and repairs – including the Sportspark renovations, the FDR Hope Memorial, the Firefighters Field comfort station/bathroom construction, future Lighthouse renovations, elevator consultant and Motorgate repairs -  more efficiently and simply put, “get things done more quickly,” Rosenthal said.


At our June board of directors meeting, Architecture and Engineering Group, P.C. (AEG), was awarded a contract to re-inspect the entire Motorgate facility, conduct a parking analysis and prepare documents for the plans to repair the garage. More details will be forthcoming.

WORKLISTS for the Tram Platforms, HELIX ramps and graffiti at the Prow

While major construction on both the Tram platforms and the Helix is complete, you may have noticed workers completing a series of additional tasks which include some additional asphalt and materials finishes.

The additional work – which includes concrete finishing work on the platforms and on the Helix’s upper ramp (the return ramp to Queens from Motorgate), repaving and repair of the Flat Plaza (where the RI flagpoles are located), undersides work, installation of guardrails on the lower ramp; and lane, asphalt and crosswalk striping at both ends of the ramp – also includes fixes to incomplete or incorrect installations or incidental damage to existing finishes, material, and structures; and must be completed by the contractor prior to final payment.

“We have been informed some of this work may cause travel delays on the Helix or at the Tram stations at Roosevelt Island and midtown Manhattan during the next couple weeks. As soon as we have more details, we will advise,” Rosenthal said.

Graffiti removal at The Prow, the metal dingy-like boat structure that juts out into the East River near Octagon Park has begun. RIOC crews are using Prosoco-brand paint remover which is environmental friendly and works well on metal. After application, the product “cures” for up to an hour, before the surface is brushed and then power-washed with regular water. This step may have to be repeated several times to remove some of the Prow’s toughest graffiti spots.

Once the surface is free of graffiti, RIOC grounds crews will apply a wax-based product as a protective layer to make any new graffiti easier to remove with just a power washer as the layer of wax (and the new graffiti will “melt” away.  A new layer of wax is then reapplied.

The work on the Prow and other graffiti-defaced areas around the Island is expected to continue through September.


RIOC is proud of have hosted more than 8,600 visitors to our Fourth of July Family Fireworks viewing event last week.

Many thanks to our partners at Cornell Tech and FDR Four Freedoms State Park, NYPD, FDNY, RIOC’s grounds, facilities, and other staff members especially our entire cadre of PSD officers, most of whom worked on foot, bike, car and from aerial viewing spots – vetting incoming car traffic at the Roosevelt Island bridge, handling crowd control from Lighthouse to Southpoint parks; and manning designated security posts from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.

“I’d also like to extend a special shout-out to Erica Spencer-EL and Jessica Murray, the director and manager of our Community Affairs Department for leading the event coordination task group and their diligent contributions to what became a record-breaking, memorable day,” Rosenthal said.

“We’ve scheduled debriefing meetings this week with our teams to review the event’s logistics to see how we can improve for next year,” she said.


Be sure not to miss RIOC’s ongoing slate of outdoor movies in Southpoint Park this summer, next up include:

•            Friday, July 20: Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi; (rain date July 27)

•            Saturday, July 21: The Fifth Element; (rain date July 28)

•            Friday, August 3: Black Panther; (rain date August 10)

•            Friday, August 17: A Wrinkle in Time; (rain date August 24)


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