The fire chief is absolutely right when he said he believes safety will be compromised if Ocean Avenue is closed for eight weeks as planned to facilitate the completion of the new walkway from Wonderland Station to the beach.
His desire to have Ocean Avenue open to safety equipment in a limited way makes sense. However, security and practicality in keeping the construction area open will both be compromised as it appears very unlikely the avenue can be kept open even in a limited way without sacrificing pedestrian safety as well as traffic safety.
In other words, it appears that the entire area will become a work area and will need to be fenced off to secure the building site so nothing is stolen or tampered with. In addition, traffic must be stopped from coming through the construction area because large pieces of equipment and building materials will make such free passage dangerous and impossible.
What to do? There isn’t frankly much that can be done.
Perhaps completing the construction only at night or night and day for 3 weeks could solve the problem.
This however would require hundreds of thousands of dollars more for overtime and would render the project impossible to finance.
This is one of those times that the project must go on and a bit of safety must be compromised to get it done.
If this means fire engines must use the grassy expanse off of Ocean Street of transit down the Boulevard the wrong way on sidewalks then so be it.
The work must go on.