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NE'W YORK, DECEMBER 11, 1915
WEST SIDE TERMINAL PLANS CRYSTALLIZING
The Comptroller Gives an Outline—A Tunnel Under Riverside
Park—Terminal Facilities at Manhattanville in New Location
THE Port and Terminal Committee, of
which Comptroller Prendergast is
chairman, has partly unfolded to the pub¬
lic the plans which it has in mind for the
West Side terminal improvements, which
are to result in stopping the surface op¬
eration of railroad tracks.
The information came in an informal
statement from the Comptroller, reply¬
ing to a public outgiving on the subject
by Borough Presiaent Marks containing
statements to which the Comptroller
In the course of his remarks, which
appeared in but one morning paper,
Borough President Marks had said that
ever since he had become a member of
the Port and Terminal Committee the
charge had been repeatedly made that
the city authorities alone were respon¬
sible for the continuance of the surface
operation of the railroad.
A Borough President's Resolve.
"I made up my mind," continued Mr.
Marks, "that so far as the representa¬
tive of the Borough of Manhattan was
concerned that accusation could not be
"I have day in and day out fought to
remedy conditions which permit a steam
railway to operate on the surface of
Manhattan streets and thus menace life
and limb. I have repeatedly demanded
the production of such plans as the city
may have. I have seen many. But the
Terminal Committee has not acted and
there seems to have been little disposi¬
tion to act promptly.
"I have had the most positive assur¬
ances from the attorney of the New
Iork Central that its plans are ready
and have been for some time. He also
tells me there is no financial problem
in the way of solving the difficulty.
"He assures me that the Central is
prepared to go ahead with the proposed
improvements so soon as it can agree
with the city upon a general plan. It
is time that that plan should be submit¬
ted and the task of getting rid of the
tracks begun. I shall do everything
within my power to remedy these intol¬
erable conditions, no matter if I stand
At the same time it was said that
President Marks would submit to the
Port and Terminal Committee on De¬
cember IS a plan on which his chief en¬
gineer, Mr. Goodrich, was working. A
very brief outline of the plan was given.
The Comptroller Explains.
Whether President Marks was mis¬
quoted or not, Ihe publication served to
draw the fire of Comptroller Prender¬
gast, the present chairman of the com¬
mittee, who explained that after a meet¬
ing of. the citizens from the VVest Side
in his office last summer, he (the chair¬
man) had suggested that all the plans
that had been under consideration should
be referred to a committee of engineers
consisting of Mr. Goodrich of the Man¬
hattan Borough office and Mr. Sullivan
of the bureau of contract supervision.
_ "There was no idea that Mr. Good¬
rich in thus serving was representing
the Borough of Manhattan," says Mr.
Prendergast. "The work has been done
Chairman Port and Terminal Committee.
by Mr. Goodrich and Mr. Sullivan
jointly. Mr. Sullivan deserves just as
much credit for it as Mr. Goodrich."
A Glimpse at the Revised Plan.
The net result to the public in the
controversy is the insight which the
Comptroller gives into the plan which
the committee is evolving (so far as it
lias been perfected) from all those
wliich have been submitted for its con¬
Tlie final report of the Prendergast
committee when ready for the Board of
Estimate will be printed for circulation
and will be the subject of public hear¬
ings, as was the report of the Mitchel
committee. It is expected to embody an
a.greement reached with tlie New 'V'ork
Central Railroad Company.
From the outline whicli the Comptrol¬
ler gives it will be noted that for the sec¬
tion between S9th street on the north
and 30th street on the south, no solu¬
tion has yet been decided on. For this
section the Mitchel committee proposed
In respect to tlic tracks north of 59th
street it is the present thought of the
committee to put them in a tunnel
throu.gh Riverside Park and leave the
waterfront entirely free. Between 126th
street and 145th the main line will be
elevated, but situated west of the exist¬
ing viaduct, and with terminal facilities
both east and west of the main line. This
seems from the brief description to cor¬
respond in part at least with recommen¬
dations made by Engineer Bolton on
behalf of the West Side civic associa¬
tions last summer.
Outline of the Plan.
"The Comptroller says the plan being
formulated is about as follows:
"Beginnin.g at a point tan.gent to the
present tracks just north of the Ship
Canal at Spuyten Duyvil the right of
way will continue southerly on a bridge
over the Ship Canal through Inwood
Hill in a tunnel, continuing Just to the
east of the Magdalene Home, crossing
Dyckman street on an elevated struc¬
ture which will be so designed as to be
concealed urider or become a part of the
proposed Riverside Drive viaduct over
the Dyckman street valley; continuing
southerly the tracks would be in tunnel
on a down grade and again joining the
present right of way along the water¬
front about opposite 190th street.
Through Ft. Washington Park.
"South of 190th street the tracks
would continue along the present right
of way, two of them continuing through
the present cut in Fort Washington
Park and two to be diverted to a loca¬
tion easterly of the present cut in Fort
Washington Park through a tunnel.
"South of Fort Washington Park and
at a point about 157th street the right of
way would be moved somewhat to the
west but not so far west as the estalD-
lished bulkhead line.
"From lS7th street and the portal of
the tunnel at the southerly end of Fort
Washington Park it is proposed at some
future time so to cover the tracks as to
provide a continuation of Riverside
"From ISSth street south to a point
near 140th street it is proposed that at
some future time the tracks will be so
covered as to permit of the extension of
tlie park to the water's edge.
Partly Covered Yards at Manhattanville.
"From 140th street south to the south¬
erly end of the Riverside Drive viaduct
(near 126th street) it is proposed to
carry the main line tracks on an ele¬
vated structure just west of the exist¬
ing Riverside Drive viaduct and to pro¬
vide between 140th and 130th streets
adequate terminal facilities both east
and west of the proposed location of the
main line tracks. These terminal facil¬
ities will be partly covered so as not to
destroy the general appearance of the
park and partly open to provide the
necessary freight facilities for this sec¬
tion of the city.
Tunnel Through Riverside Park.
"From 128th street south to Seventy-
second street the right of way will con¬
tinue under the present park space of
Riverside Drive, the greater portion of
the distance to be constructed by the
tunnel method, which will not only per¬
mit of substantial foundations for the
railroad, but a permanent solution of the
railroad facilities for this district.
"It will not materially interfere with
the use of the park facilities during the
period of construction nor will it inter¬
fere with the operation of the present
limited railroad facilities during the pe¬
riod of construction.
"Further, it will restore to the city full
jurisdiction of the water front Ihrou.gh-
out this stretch, inasmuch as the plan
provides for the restriction of dock facil¬
ities to the neighborhoods of Ninety-
sixth and Seventy-ninth streets and the