2005_05_dirtslide4501.jpgNow that the northbound Henry Hudson Parkway is open for business again after the city cleared away dirt that had collpased from a retaining wall, the focus is on who will pay for the repairs and cleanup. The NY Times reports that the city hopes to recoup the untold millions, most likely from Castle Village, the private co-op whose responsibilities include maintaing the wall. An insurance agency tells the Times that the apartment's liability insurance should cover the clean-up - but not the rebuilding of the wall. Zoinks! The insurance company president explained, "It's kind of industry standard that retaining walls that are not part of the building are not covered." Yeah, it's probably not something most people like to think about. What's interesting is that a shareholder in Castle Village says that rebuilding the wall might not be what they do: They might decide to "install a swimming pool or build another building." Well, make sure the land is stable first.

And the city is getting some flak for dumping the dirt and debris from the collapse at Fresh Kills in Staten Island. Both Staten Island residents and September 11 victims' families were upset with the move, the former worried that the landfill would be reopened and the latter that remains would be disrespected. Mayor Bloomberg tried to reassure by saying, "This is not a case of taking garbage and putting it there. This is a case of, we happened to have fill, [we] needed it, and we will need a lot more [at Fresh Kills] over the next 20 years." The plan is to convert Fresh Kills from a landfill to a park (a possible Olympic venue, even), but the garbage left there over the decades will still take time to decompose.