ASTORIA – Assemblymember Michael Gianaris and Councilmember Peter F. Vallone Jr. recently toured work areas on the Amtrak train trestle above Astoria. Both Gianaris and Vallone had taken issue with Amtrak for allowing debris and rocks to fall from the Hell Gate Bridge, shattering windshields and nearly striking pedestrians.
Amtrak had written to both Gianaris and Vallone that their Track and Structures Department has been working to seal the top side of the bridge and have placed new grating over walkways and other sensitive areas to prevent rocks and debris from falling, but both elected officials wanted to see the improvements firsthand. Both were impressed by the newly completed precautions, which will ensure for much safer streets below.
“Our residents should never have been subjected to rocks or any other debris falling from the Hell Gate Bridge,” Vallone said. “We will continue to work with Amtrak to ensure our neighborhood isn’t terrorized during a routine maintenance project.”
Amtrak has also taken additional measures on the ground including closing off areas under the work areas, placing watchmen on the ground and vacuuming excess ballast (rocks) off tracks.