By Leslie Albrecht
UPPER WEST SIDE — The glitzy apartment buildings on Riverside Boulevard are full of luxury amenities, but the streets below are another story.
Nearly a year after work was finished on the new intersection of West 72nd Street and Riverside Boulevard, the connection still isn't open to traffic.
Cars that zip up Riverside Boulevard — which fronts a row of fancy apartment towers including The Rushmore, where Yankee Alex Rodriguez recently bought an apartment — hit a dead end at West 72nd.
Patrick White, a doorman at The Heritage high-rise at 72nd and Riverside Boulevard, said he's been hearing since July 2010 that the intersection would soon open to traffic.
The new intersection, which will give drivers easy access to the West Side Highway on-ramp at West 72nd Street, was finished and ready for a final inspection by the Department of Transportation in May 2010.
Ten months later, the connection is still blocked off with orange barricades.
"They've given us several dates, they all came and went, so who knows?" said White.
City Councilwoman Gale Brewer has complained to the Department of Transportation on behalf of nearby residents, so has Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal.
A spokesman for Extell Development Company, which owns Riverside Boulevard, said the wait should be over soon.
The intersection will open after Extell transfers ownership of the street to the city, said Extell spokesman George Arzt. That's expected to happen at the end of March, Arzt said, after work is completed on street marking and striping. Arzt said winter weather delayed the work.
Arzt told DNAinfo last October that the hand-over to the city was delayed when an inspector raised concerns about expansion joints on the street.
A Department of Transportation spokesman did not explain why the connection has taken so long to open, but said Extell needs to complete some traffic engineering work at the intersection.
"Once that is done, we will conduct a review and work with Extell to open the connection," DOT spokesman Monty Dean said in an e-mail.