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Rail Disruption: Amtrak Halts NYC to Albany Service Amidst Unstable Manhattan Parking Garage Concerns

Rail Disruption: Amtrak Halts NYC to Albany Service Amidst Unstable Manhattan Parking Garage Concerns

"Rail Disruption: Amtrak Halts NYC to Albany Service Amidst Structural Woes in Manhattan Parking Garage"

Ongoing structural issues at a parking garage in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen have paralyzed Amtrak train services between New York City and Albany. Amtrak issued a safety alert on Sunday, citing concerns related to a privately owned parking facility situated above the railroad's Empire Line. The structural uncertainties surrounding the Icon Parking garage on 51st St. near 10th Ave. have forced the continued suspension of service between Penn Station's Moynihan Train Hall and the Croton-Harmon train station in Westchester County.

Amtrak spokesperson Jason Abrams conveyed on Monday that the railway is actively engaging with the city and property owners to address the matter urgently. However, no timeline has been provided for the restoration of service. Commuters have been advised to redirect to Grand Central Terminal for service to Croton, where Amtrak tickets will be valid for Metro-North trains during the outage. Unfortunately, this rerouting does not extend northward to Albany, leaving rail riders without access to stations beyond Poughkeepsie.

The structural concerns at the parking garage are being addressed by engineers from the New York City Buildings Department, with ongoing remediation efforts as confirmed by Mayor Adams. The department's database reveals a "partial vacate" order on the garage as of Monday, which currently has two open violations.

The ordeal began on Friday when an engineer hired by the property owner expressed worry about the structural integrity of the parking garage, prompting a call to 911. Subsequent inspections by engineers from the Buildings Department and Amtrak revealed two holes in the entrance ramp and another on the lower level, with pervasive issues of "defective concrete throughout" the facility. To protect the tracks from potential debris during repairs, a protective structure was planned. However, during its installation on Sunday, Amtrak workers and city engineers discovered cracked and damaged steel beams beneath the garage, compelling the railway to suspend train services beneath the compromised structure.

As the situation unfolds, the disruption highlights the intricate challenges posed by urban infrastructure vulnerabilities and the concerted efforts required to ensure the safety and functionality of crucial transportation services. Commuters remain in limbo, awaiting updates on the resolution of the structural concerns and the eventual resumption of Amtrak services between New York City and Albany.

Lisa Caballero, a 48-year-old resident of Hudsonview Terrace, shared her concerns on Monday, revealing that she discovered the structural issues affecting the parking garage through news reports rather than direct communication from building management. Having spent her entire life in the large apartment complex above the garage, Caballero expressed frustration at the lack of prior notification, stating, "It would be nice if they gave everybody notice. They never tell the tenants anything. They're very hush-hush."

Residing in close proximity to the parking garage, Caballero raised a pertinent question about potential consequences, stating, "What happens if the backyard caves in?" However, officials from the Buildings Department assured The News that the structural defects are confined to the underground parking garage, with no impact on neighboring buildings, including Hudsonview Terrace.

Inquiries directed at Icon Parking, the entity overseeing the garage, went unanswered, adding to the opacity surrounding the situation. City records indicate that both the garage and Hudsonview Terrace are registered under the ownership of Ephraim Fruchthandler, who has previously been listed on the public advocate's catalog of "worst landlords." Despite attempts to reach Fruchthandler for comment, neither he nor a one-time lawyer representing him responded.

A representative from Lineage Properties, Fruchthandler's company responsible for managing the property, declined to provide any insight when approached by The News on Monday, offering only a terse "no comment" before hanging up. The lack of transparency from building management and ownership adds another layer of uncertainty for residents like Caballero, emphasizing the need for clear communication and accountability in addressing the ongoing structural concerns.

In conclusion, the unfolding situation surrounding the structural issues at the parking garage near Hudsonview Terrace reflects not only the disruption to Amtrak services but also the broader impact on the community residing above. Lisa Caballero's revelation that residents learned about the concerns through news reports, rather than direct communication from building management, underscores a significant lapse in transparency and communication.

Caballero's expressed frustration about the lack of prior notice raises valid concerns about the well-being of residents and the potential implications for their living environment. The question she poses about the possibility of the backyard caving in speaks to the anxieties gripping those living in proximity to the affected structure.

While officials from the Buildings Department have assured that the structural defects are confined to the underground parking garage, the communication breakdown between building management and residents heightens uncertainty. The unresponsiveness of Icon Parking and the opaque stance of property owner Ephraim Fruchthandler's representatives further compound the lack of clarity surrounding the situation.

As residents grapple with these uncertainties, there is a pressing need for open communication, timely updates, and a commitment to addressing the concerns raised by those directly affected. The situation underscores the importance of accountability and transparency in managing such critical infrastructure issues, ensuring the safety and peace of mind of the community. Residents like Lisa Caballero deserve the assurance that their concerns are heard and that necessary actions are being taken to safeguard their homes and well-being.

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