Friday, August 18, 2017

MTA's 'Wave' Crossings

The Dream:

[A design, by Grimshaw, for the approach to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge with a chain-metal "wave" covering the toll gantry. | Image from "Reimagining New York's Crossings"]

The Reality:

[My photo of the toll gantry on approach to the RFK Triborough Bridge – is the "wave" still to come?]

In October 2016 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his vision for booth-free tolls at all of the tunnels and bridges heading in and out of New York City. The vision would become a reality via sensors and cameras mounted on gantries spanning the roadways. These structures are utilitarian – read: very ugly. But have no fear, since Cuomo's plan states: "Each gantry on our bridges and tunnels will be covered with a decorative artwork presenting a 'wave' effect."

My photo above shows one such toll structure, in Astoria, spanning nine lanes of traffic at the entrance to the Triborough Bridge – but obviously no wave. If DNAinfo is correct and all of the work will be finished by the end of 2017, that leaves only four full months for workers to come back and install the "wave" over the gantry. This seems like not enough time, so I'm anticipating the public-art feature is being nixed, most likely as a value engineering measure. Hopefully I'm wrong and later this year the Triborough Bridge will have an artistic shield over its technological infrastructure.