7 Years After Roosevelt Island Tram Manhattan Station Elevator Project Began, The First Of Two Elevator Cabins Will Open For Service Tuesday October 12 Says RIOC

After many years of starts, stops and delays, beginning in April 2014, the first of two new cabins from the $6.8 Million Roosevelt Island Manhattan Tram Station Elevator project will  open for service tomorrow, Tuesday, October 12.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Please be advised that, due to the construction of the Manhattan Tram Elevator project, starting Tuesday, October 12th the below changes will take effect: 

  • The existing operational elevator will be closed to the public 
  • The south stairwell towards Tramway Plaza Park will also be closed 
  • The new east elevator will be open for public use 

Kindly follow posted signage and directions from Tram personnel for the new pedestrian traffic pattern.

While the overall project is still under construction, this temporary pedestrian traffic pattern change is necessary due to ongoing work required to demolish the old Tram elevator. 

Thank you for your patience.

Roosevelt Island residents have been patiently waiting since 2014.

In September 2014, then RIOC Director of Engineering Jim Mortimer reported:

… Because our efforts to solicit design/build contractors for the new
elevators were unsuccessful, an RFP for the design of two new elevators
has been issued. Proposals are due on 10/3/14. After the design is
complete in early 2015, we will procure a contractor and construct the
new elevators which will be completed in 2015….

In September 2015, former RIOC President Charlene Indelicato reported: 

… the company preparing design and construction
drawings for the two new Tram Manhattan Station elevators recently went
bankrupt delaying work on the project for about a month. RIOC expects a
successor company to take over work on the design and construction
drawings soon pending approval of the bankruptcy court and fiscal
vetting by RIOC.

Ms. Indelicato anticipates the two new Roosevelt Island Manhattan Tram Station elevators to be working by Autumn of 2016.

Reported in 2019:

… The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced in April 2016, that work on the new $6.1 million Tram Elevators would begin in September/October 2016 and be completed in one year.

But work did not start until May of 2018 and then was soon halted after discovering the soil was not structurally sound for the foundation originally designed for the project….

In January 2020, RIOC announced that construction would resume on the Manhattan Tram station elevators. 

In December 2020, RIOC President Shelton Haynes reported:

… A month or two delay in Manhattan Tram Elevator project due to Covid 19 and obtaining parts from Europe…

During September 29, 2021 RIOC Board of Directors meeting, Mr Haynes gave a status report on the new Tram elevators and reported the first cabin will soon open and he added:

… the project should be completed by December of this year. It’s on time and under budget….

Finally, after 7 years from it’s start, the first of two Roosevelt Island Manhattan Tram Station elevator cabins will open for service tomorrow,


but it can hardly be called on time.


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