Lights on in costly BX courthouse, but no one home

The lights are on in a Bronx courthouse but no one's at home, according to a councilman who wants to know what's taking so long.

The Bronx Hall of Justice sits on three blocks on E. 161st Street near Grand Concourse Boulevard. The courthouse has been a work in progress for more than 15 years and was expected to open about eight months ago.Officials in charge of construction said structural flaws with the building's garage and problems with contractors caused delays and overages. The new estimated cost of the building is about $400 million, which is about $75 million more than the original cost.

Councilman Oliver Koppell, who helped plan the building, is calling for a probe into the problems. He wants to tour the facility. Koppell also complains the lights are often on 24 hours in the building, causing the electricity bill to run up.

"They've spent hundreds of millions of dollars and what we have is a product that's unusable," Koppell said.

The state court system responded to the councilman's request for a probe by saying several issues he raised are already under investigation.

There's no word on the when the courthouse will open for business.

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