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Construction Trailer at Controversial Trash Station Site Alarms Neighbors

By DNAinfo Staff on January 15, 2013 9:18am  | Updated on January 15, 2013 3:46pm

YORKVILLE — A trailer recently installed on the future worksite of a controversial waste transfer station has alarmed neighbors who fear it's a sign that construction might begin soon.

A staffer at the trailer-leasing company confirmed that it was being leased by Skanska — the main contractor building the marine transfer station.

City officials, however, could not confirm or deny whether the trailer is related to the station — a $240 million project on East 91st Street that has been the subject of continued community protest and ongoing litigation.

Officials at Asphalt Green — a neighborhood recreation complex that surrounds the project and strongly opposes it — said they recently became concerned when the modular unit was placed on the ramp to the planned marine transfer station.

Asphalt Green Director of Operations Tom O'Connor said he was working at the complex the day the unit was dropped off.

He said he spoke with some individuals involved in the drop-off, and he said that one of them identified himself as being from Skanska as well as "another gentleman" from a construction management firm.

They said the trailer was involved in the marine transfer station project, O'Connor said.

"I don't remember the gentleman's name, [but] he said, 'We're just setting this up.' He said, 'This is the field engineer's office,'" O'Connor recalled.

Skanska said it is looking into the matter, but could not immediately confirm its relation to the trailer.

Asphalt Green officials said they were not notified about a trailer being placed on the forthcoming jobsite.

"I find the presence of the trailer frightening, and I'm somewhat dismayed because the city promised us that they'd give us very specific information about construction," said Asphalt Green Executive Director Carol Tweedy. "There should be conversation about what is entailed so that we can ensure that the safety and the health of our users — of our 31,000 children — are protected."

Asked whether Asphalt Green had been informed about the trailer, the city's Law Department said municipal agencies have been communicating with the center.

"Asphalt Green is a plaintiff in one of the pending lawsuits, and communications are being handled through their counsel," a spokesperson said.