2010-02-05 / Front Page

Debris Falls From Freeway Again

By Nickolas Briano

Residents should exercise caution when driving underneath the elevated A-train structure that runs above the Rockaway Freeway.

 

Firefighters rope off the section of Rockaway Freeway near Beach 66 Street where large chunks of concrete fell from the elevated train structure onto the road below. Firefighters rope off the section of Rockaway Freeway near Beach 66 Street where large chunks of concrete fell from the elevated train structure onto the road below.  Last Friday morning at approximately 8:30 a.m., near Beach 66 Street, several large chunks of crumbling concrete fell from the structure, crashing onto the road below. This was the fourth such incident involving the el. The A-line is currently undergoing a complete station-bystation restoration.

However, the plans to fix the crumbling structure are not set to begin for at least another year. MTA officials have told Community Board 14 that only select areas will be repaired and that the work will not begin until after the station restorations are complete.

But those station renovations are expect ed to continue for the majority of this year, leaving the el exposed to at least one more winter of erosion and deterioration.

And although Community Board 14 is pleased, for the most part, with the proposed renovations, it is the repairs to the structure itself that are most vital, board members say, and they believe that structure is not getting its proper attention in the renovation plans.

“We need to revisit this concept about the repairs,” Community Board 14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska said this week. “Someone is going to get killed. They [MTA] say the el is structurally sound but it is very old, and wind and salt have been destructive over the years.” So far, the falling debris has not injured pedestrians or motorists.

In December 2007, and again in August 2008, part of the Freeway had to be closed due to fallen debris. And, a little more than a year ago a grapefruitsized chunk fell on a female motorist’s SUV, but did not penetrate deeply enough through the car’s roof to cause injury.

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