What all those spray-painted markings on Avenue C mean

The markings, along the southeast perimeter of Stuyvesant Town, denote multiple projects. (Photos by Eileen Togashi)

By Sabina Mollot

Last month, a resident of Stuyvesant Town alerted us to some sprawling spray-painted markings along the sidewalk and street on Avenue C from 14th to 16th Streets. The geometrical markings made the resident concerned about possible demolition work, with some of them appearing on the cobblestones lining Stuy Town.

As it turns out the markings have to do with a number of projects, Rick Hayduk, general manager of Stuy Town, said this week.

Some are related to the ongoing L train construction along 14th Street, others to Con Ed’s Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) well excavating project in Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village, which is now completed and the property’s own heat and power project, which was announced months ago.

As for the Con Ed markings, they denoted where lines (typically gas) entered the buildings and parking garages, Hayduk said, not where the wells were dug.

Unfortunately, “They use paint that doesn’t come off easily,” Hayduk observed.

 He also warned there will be a “high probability” the sidewalk will be disrupted for the combined heat and power project as “gas enters into the new plant, engine converts it to electricity, sends it back out to the grid, byproduct is steam which will be used to heat buildings and hot water. That project is slated for activity (construction) in the first quarter.”

Allan Drury, a spokesperson for Con Ed added that the utility’s markings indicate the location of underground electrical facilities. This is done to alert anyone who may do excavation in the area. At the moment, the only active permit for work Con Ed has with the Department of Transportation is to place a steam stack between East 15th and 16th Streets. Additionally, some minor steam work was recently completed on Avenue C and 18th Street.

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