By Phil Corso
Almost one year after the completion of a $2.5 million city Department of Environmental Protection project to improve stormwater runoff at Oakland Lake Park, the city Parks Department announced final plans to retool the area’s pathway for pedestrians.
“It’s a win-win scenario for everyone and I’m very proud of all of it,” said Jerry Iannece, the Community Board 11 chairman. “It was a collaborative effort from the ground up.”
Iannece said nearly 20 years of work culminated in the final plans to improve the pathway around the park after the DEP helped transform the vegetation surrounding the lake into a lively park. But despite the new terrain, the pedestrian pathway still became muddy and difficult to walk through after rainfall.
“The pathway was the only part that wasn’t fully addressed in the plans,” Iannece said. “It was always covered with mud and was not conducive to walking around.”
A new $1.6 million Parks Department plan was unveiled at CB 11’s May meeting, which included raising and sloping the pathway and inserting drainage pipes underneath so the storm runoff could travel around the perimeter to access the lake, Parks said. A boardwalk will also be installed so pedestrians can get closer to the waterfront.
The project, still in its design stage, should start around spring 2013, pending review from the DEP, Parks said. If started on time, the pathway should be complete by the following fall.
Michael Feiner, president of the Bayside Hills Civic Association, said he was glad to see further steps taken to enhance the area, referring to Oakland Lake Park as one of the most beautiful spots in Bayside.
Iannece, who helped push the project forward since his tenure as BHCA president in 1996, said he was delighted to see results after so many had devoted time to the project from the local level to the state.
“It’s a real success story,” Iannece said. “This is a textbook scenario of how a civic association can identify a problem and spend time helping to get the project done from beginning to end.”
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.