By Connor Adams Sheets
Two roads at the west end of Flushing are getting a makeover.
The city Department of Design and Construction is doing major upgrades to stretches of College Point Boulevard and 32nd Avenue aimed at better serving residents of the heavily trafficked area.
“It’s such an industrial area down there, we need something to make the [James A.] Bland Houses look good, to make the Muss development [Sky View Parc] look good,” Community Board 7 Chairman Eugene Kelty said. “So we want to improve the roadway to make a nice entrance-way into both College Point and Flushing.”
Located near the confluence of the Grand Central Parkway and Long Island and Van Wyck expressways, College Point Boulevard is a popular route for trucks as well as commuters, who wreak havoc on its asphalt surface.
For its part 32nd Avenue is a drab patchwork of mismatched asphalt rutted by the heavy vehicles that traverse it all day, flanked by two crumbling sidewalks.
The changes are designed to fix those issues, said Marilyn Bitterman, district manager of Community Board 7.
College Point Boulevard from Linden Boulevard to Fowler Avenue has already begun to undergo a partial revamping.
“It is a rehabilitation project on College Point Boulevard,” said Craig Chin, a spokesman for DDC. “The scope of the project is new sewers, water mains, street lighting, traffic signals, brand new roadway and pedestrian refuge islands.”
The islands will be installed in-between the going and coming lanes of traffic on College Point Boulevard where it intersects King Road, 36th Road, 37th Avenue, 39th Avenue, Roosevelt Avenue, 41st Avenue, 41st Road, Sanford Avenue and Maple Avenue.. They are for pedestrians who cannot make it across the wide boulevard in time for oncoming cars. Instead of trying to beat drivers across the street, they can walk halfway then wait on the islands for the light to change.
The original plan for College Point Boulevard presented safety issues, according to CB 7 Chairman Eugene Kelty, who suggested that the DOT change their original proposal, which it did.
“DOT wanted to do a whole median down the middle,” Kelty said. “I was concerned because when you have fire trucks or ambulances or police cars, they can’t go around the traffic.”
The DOT also plans to fully overhaul 32nd Avenue between College Point and Linden boulevards. The work will begin next month and will take place at night.
“It will be a total capital reconstruction: sewers, water mains, new light fixtures if they’re needed, curbs and repaving the roads,” Bitterman said, adding that the avenue is in poor shape. “Take a drive down 32nd Avenue.”
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4538.