Columbia Street Revamp: Potholes in My Lawn

It’s been a rocky road to the reconstruction of Columbia Street, a $17 million, city-helmed project that was supposed to be completed this fall. Workers have been tearing up the thoroughfare for nearly two years, and most of it is still under construction. At present Columbia Street sports more potholes than stretches of unmarred pavement, making it rough going for cars and bicyclists alike. Given the current state of the street, the city’s target completion date seems improbable, and we have to wonder how the constant construction has affected nearby retail and residents. How big a pain in the ass has it been for area residents? Think it will have all been worth it when all’s said and (hopefully) done?
Columbia Street Project Notice []

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  • taking a taxi or car home to red hook is super-harrowing. . .i feel extremely guilty making people bump and scrape their way down columbia to get to van brunt.

    the street is also pretty much unbikeable at this point. and the 61 bus often hits those potholes at high speeds and gets some serious air.

    total mess.

  • theres no way such a simple project should take so long. Corruption or incompetency.

  • Simple project? Can I see your PE license, 11:11? Yeah, that’s what I thought….

  • mr. brownstoner hates drawn out construction but he loves de la soul! de la soul i say! de la soul.

  • i live on tiffany place and own a car…what a total pain in the ass this project has been…and don’t forget, before this project was started, all of the sidewalks on Columbia were ripped up and replaced (over about a year’s time)…looks like they’ll need to be ‘replaced’ again…historically, this brooklyn stretch has been harshly mistreated…it continues…all to allow more trucks and cars through the neighborhood to serve fairway and ikea way the f down in the hook…great.

  • will it be worth it? this ‘improvement’ was never meant to help our neighborhood. it’s only being done to make the road better for trucks. the road is being fortified and widened, which means the sidewalks are being made more narrow. of course, the work will likely be subpar, meaning more potholes created by the trucks. we have the bqe on one side and this monstrosity on the other. just goes to show, when a neighborhood is small, it just has to bend over and take whatever the city dishes out — no clout.

  • This project has always been scheduled to be finished sometime in 2008. They are also making room for the greenway to come through here, which will be nice. And I hope they still have the park at the end of Sackett Street included in their plans. Although my gut feeling is that you can’t count on this city for anything, when it comes to this neighborhood.

  • Will the still now be only one way (for the most part) or is that just temporary during the construction?

  • am i the only one who gets the de la soul reference in gabby’s headline. either way, gabby…i am impressed.

  • oh sorry…i see thechime got it too.

  • I live on Tiffany and Kane street. Right around the corner from that french flag in the picture.

    This construction is a pain in the ass for anyone who has to park around here. I got towed twice this year.

    The industrial yards next to this strip have been turned over to the city to be rezoned, I believe. So I get to lose my view AND have the pleasure of 5 years more of this construction/parking bullcrap.

    Did I mention I LOVE my neighborhood?! It’s totally worth the pain.

  • Th second phase of this project was to finish Dec/ Jan up coming. But the construction has been very mired in issues. the redirection of Columbia has been a major pain as trucks get stuck making 90 degree turns not meant for 53 foot tractor trailors. The first segment while paved is still not even close to being finished.

    I’ve lived down here since 2003 and there has only been about 6 months where there was no some sort of road work going on.

    maybe someone should look into the contractor’s employees drinking habits. Every afternoon they all seem to be drunk, and then drive back to New Jeresy it would seem from the cars they drive… double nice.

  • I wrote about this on my blog ( at the end of July after being frustrated by the potholes and upheaval. The buses and traffic have been diverted for a few now too and there is no end in sight. There have seemingly only been a handful of days wherein workers were actually visibly on site — and I personally have not seen anything but degradation in the road. In a way I am surprised given that the real estate in the surrounding area is still increasing in value (or price), there are major retailers who are trying to enter or entering the area, and there are government building right on site! Isn’t anyone ultimately responsible for this mess?


  • I live on Tiffany as well and it’s a mess. Not only to the businesses on Columbia but it’s been a strain on the entire neighborhood. From what I’ve heard, it’s not the streets they’re improving, but rather all of the sewage/water infrastructure for OneBrooklyn condos and any other future building plans. But what blows me away is that most of the construction is happening on the east side of the street, where there’s just the piers. Why don’t they just work there and repair our street?

    I also love seeing my tax money go towards the 2 lazy traffic cops they have on Columbia/Degraw to move traffic since that light there apparently isn’t doing it’s job. wtf?