2009-04-03 / Front Page

Rockaway Projects In Stimulus Pipeline

By Howard Schwach

While funding under President Obama's stimulus package is far from certain, a number of high-profile projects that impact Rockaway are in the pipeline and have been vetted by the New York State Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Cabinet. Each of the projects still has to be reviewed by New York City and State agencies as required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

An artists' rendering of the new YMCA, slated for Beach 73 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The stimulus package includes $8 million for the Y, but the project still has to be approved by city and state agencies. While the major portion of the new Y will be funded by Arverne By The Sea, the community has been looking for money for two lanes for the lap pool and an indoor gymnasium. They hope the stimulus money will allow for those amenities.
The Rockaway projects include:

A YMCA for Rockaway, funded with $8 million in stimulus funds. According to the state's Reinvestment Cabinet, the money would be used for the "construction of a YMCA as the only community recreation in Rockaway." It would include pools, a gymnasium, all-purpose child care areas, exercise and outdoor play areas.








A nature preserve for Arverne East, funded with $14 million. The preserve would include a visitors center and playground.

A Workforce Development Program, to be run by the Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC), funded with $750,000. This program would train local residents for both the construction trades and health care professions.

Construction of an addition to Shore Front Parkway and Beachfront Parkway that would extend the road so that it would run from Beach 108 Street to Beach 32 Street and connect with Seagirt Boulevard and the Atlantic Beach Bridge, funded eventually with more than $125 million.

Construction of infrastructure and reconstruction of the subway structure in connection with Arverne By The Sea that would develop a transit center hub for the peninsula, funded with $20 million.

Development of the RDRC's new headquarters in Far Rockaway, called the Renaissance Center, funded with $500,000.

Rehabilitation of the entire Rockaway A Line, funded with $56 million.

Rehabilitation of the two NYPD station houses in Rockaway, the 101 and 100 Precincts, funded with $112,000.

Reconstruction of the Rockaway boardwalk, from Beach 50 to Beach 55 Streets; Beach 71 to Beach 81 Streets; Beach 23 to Beach 27 Streets; and Beach 44 to Beach 50 Streets, funded with $15 million.

Congressman Anthony Weiner, who represents the western end of the Rockaway peninsula, says that he is pleased by the recommended projects.

"Simply put, for years Rockaway has not gotten its fair share of the pot. Let's hope that changes. I fought hard to get New York a lot of money. I hope the governor returns the favor by helping out the peninsula."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, in announcing the transportation funding portion of the program, said, "Our commitment to infrastructure has been the largest in city history, so we have not been waiting for outside help, but the federal stimulus dollars mean that we can move projects that would have been on the chopping block and get shovels in the ground quickly — putting thousands of people to work and rebuilding our infrastructure."

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