Forest City Ratner Cos. is set to begin construction on the controversial Atlantic Yards project.
crews were expected to take the first steps today toward building the huge Atlantic Yards project near downtown Brooklyn, according to an aide to Bruce C. Ratner, the developer. The first stages of the work will involve subcontractors removing contamination from a bus depot, then demolishing that structure. Forest City Ratner Companies will build a temporary Long Island Rail Road yard in its place, so that a giant platform can be built above the permanent rail yard to support much of the $4 billion development. The city and state approved the project despite heated opposition from residents who said it would overwhelmingly congest the local streets and transit system. The development will include thousands of apartments, commercial buildings, a hotel and an arena for the Nets, the basketball team Mr. Ratner owns.