Archive for the ‘Tappan Zee Constructors’ Tag

Follow up to Last Week’s NYSTA FOIL Adventure

Look up at the sky, and what do you see? Endless space.

Something else that’s endless: the rabbit hole one falls into when making a FOIL request of the New York State Thruway Authority. Turns out I’m not alone.

CBS6 newscaster and reporter Greg Floyd described his nearly year-long attempt to get financial information about the new Capital Region Welcome Center.

And although some of the information I asked for was revealed in a press release last Friday, Records Access Officer Jill B. Warner told me:

“We are performing a diligent search for records responsive to your request. We will notify you of our progress by March 3, 2020. Copies of responsive documents are available pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law Section 87(1)(b) & (c).”

Now it’s moot; however, no one is alone for long in the NYSTA FOIL rabbit hole. My journey began with floating concrete batch plants . . .

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2020

Stalling and Deflecting: Nothing New for NYSTA

What happens when deadlines are missed, and reporters ask about them? Silence.

So much for Governor Cuomo’s talk about FOIL requests and open government.

The bike racks were to have been completed three months ago.

As I wrote in another blog post, I’m in good company: the consortium that won the contract to build the bridge that was to have opened within 62 months of its start date is one of many groups suing the New York State Thruway Authority for stalling when asked to provide public records.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2020

So Much Secrecy in the Bridge Project’s Cache

View from the EarthCam® construction camera in Tarrytown Dec. 16, 2014, at 9:30 a.m.

This is getting old.

Thruway Authority Records Access Officer Jill B. Warner repeated her sing-song reply to me years after the batch plant accident, when no one wanted the truth known that the second mobile concrete mini-factory was doomed to malfunction so it, too, was immediately shut down.

Sources told me the governor’s office reviewed each project-related FOIL request with a fine-tooth comb.

I’d asked for information about the oh-so-many-months-ago call for proposals from artists to create a mural and bicycle racks for the bridge that was to have opened five years and two months after the project began. Path’s still not open.

“The Thruway Authority acknowledges your correspondence dated January 13, 2020 which, pursuant to FOIL, requested,” Warner’s email said.

What is the agency hiding? It mocks the FOIL request by saying it is “performing a diligent search for records” about projects it initiated and “will notify (me) of (its) progress by February 19, 2020.”

When I got too close for comfort last time, one of its lawyers called me to try and silence me: going to any length to hide the truth. Small consolation knowing the agency also stalled other reporters and the bridge project’s design-build team.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2020

TBT: Controlled Demolition of East Anchor Span

Crowds gathered to watch this time last year. Here it is in real time and in slow motion courtesy of Kevin P. Coughlin/State of New York. The section looks like it’s floating on the water; however, the perfect fall caused its columns to drop to the river bottom.

Demolition experts placed charges on vertical support structures along the span of the bridge. The charges were timed to detonate in a way that would safely lower the remaining structure eastward, away from the Hudson River’s main navigation channel, according to a fact sheet released by the construction project.

Fitting it happened this month: January 2013 was when the Thruway Authority issued Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC) Notice To Proceed.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2020

On My Mind: New Year, Unanswered Questions

Socks, sneakers and wheels indicate a sign of the path to come/NYS Thruway Authority

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2020!

I’ve been asking about artwork on the new bridge since silence enveloped the projects after a Request For Proposal (RFP) last summer. Deadlines for submitting those proposals, and the deadline for installing one of them, were months ago. The next installation deadline comes in the spring.

Patricia Gallagher Newberry, Society of Professional Journalists national president, said, “Censorship has stalked a horrific path through history. This is another instance. It is heartening to find another way to fight this trend toward silencing public employees, which SPJ has identified as a grave risk to public welfare.”

This situation reminded me of a call I received five years ago during my quest for information about a failed silo on one of the two floating concrete batch plants that had arrived months earlier. Why did the contractor also shut down the batch plant that didn’t mechanically fail unless it, too, would experience the same issue at a later time?

An attorney responded, and then I received a call from one of the governor’s then-special advisor not long after about “tidying up” matters. Someone wanted me to stop asking, I’m sure. It took nearly a full year for someone to tell me “the Thruway Authority doesn’t have that kind of information in its records.”

I’d sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the New York State Thruway Authority, whose public information officer stalled me. One year later I learned my hunch was correct. Back then I asked: Would it have been a matter of time before that same malfunction occurred in the second batch plant although both were prepped, inspected and tested identically?

A project source told me: yes, the second plant would have malfunctioned, which I suspect was why the agency stalled, then refused to provide the documents I sought in the request.

One year after that accident, Governor Cuomo ruled on Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). His office reviewed each project-related FOIL request with a fine-tooth comb, sources told me as the FOIL request hit snags that were more like stone walls.

Never stop asking questions.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2020

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