2001-02-10 / Front Page

Roadwork Slated From East To West

Roadwork Slated From East To West

Center Medians ‘Increase Beauty, Value’

By John C. McLoughlin

Three neighborhoods on the Rockaway peninsula will receive a multi-million dollar beautification overhaul due to the efforts of Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, and Community Board 14. Reads Lane in Far Rockaway, Newport avenue in Rockaway Park, and Rockaway Beach boulevard in Belle Harbor will be recipients to a center median, new sidewalks and repaved roads.

Since 1994, Community Board 14 has made the massive roadwork projects a capital budget priority. The first signs of the projects becoming reality came in 1998, but full funding was not provided until fiscal year 2000.

Through New York State Multi-Model Funding, Pheffer and Shulman were able to provide additional monies for center medians to be constructed both on the west end and east end of the peninsula.

At the time that the announcement of the center medians was made, Pheffer said, "I am thrilled to be able to bring together an existing project, the borough president’s money and state funding, to accomplish this goal. The center median is a long overdue project, and I anxiously await its completion."

Construction on Reads Lane in Far Rockaway will include drainage improvements, decorative light poles, repaved roads, and new curbs and sidewalks. The project, estimated to cost $2.8 million, includes a center median with decorative stones and tree planting pits. The West Lawrence Civic Association has pledged to plant trees, flowers and shrubbery on the median to beautify the neighborhood.

On the west end, the project is expected to cost $4.8 million. This will include the reconstruction of roadways, curbs and sidewalks on Newport avenue from Beach 116 street to Beach 125 street and on Rockaway Beach boulevard from Beach 120 street to Beach 140 street. A center median will be constructed from Beach 140 street to Beach 126/125 street, consisting of concrete curbing and landscaping. It will look identical to the present Neponsit malls, be approximately 12 feet in width, and will taper off between Beach 126 and 125 streets in order for drivers to clearly see the new addition in the center of the road.

The Belle Harbor Property Owners Association and Rockaway Park Association have both agreed to maintain the median once it’s installed.

The projects are expected to go to bid in April 2001 with construction starting no later than October 1, 2001. Work is anticipated to take a year to complete, with target dates between June 2002 and October 2002.

"Rockaway Park and Belle Harbor are grateful to Audrey Pheffer, Borough President Shulman and Jon Gaska [of Community Board 14] for making this project happen," said Tom Tobin, board member of the Rockaway Park Association. "Now we will have safe and smooth roads, reduced flooding, and center malls that will increase the beauty and value of our community. Our elected officials came to bat for us and we’ve got a home run."

Both projects were approved by residents at public hearings held by Community Board 14 and the civic associations involved.

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