By Steve Mosco
City agencies revealed a sprawling plan last week to bring a series of street, sewer and lighting upgrades to Ozone Park.
The city Department of Design and Construction announced the project with the city Departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection at a recent civic association meeting, saying it would break ground on the $45 million project in March 2014.
The project will reconstruct a number of streets in Centerville, a community in Ozone Park, according to a DDC spokesman. Close to 30 roadways will be targeted in the plan, including Albert Road from Cross Bay Boulevard to North Conduit Avenue, Pitkin Avenue from Cross Bay Boulevard to Centerville Street and 97th Street from 149th Avenue to Linden Boulevard.
Work will also include new storm sewers, upgrades to the area’s existing sanitary sewers and water mains, as well as new sidewalks, pedestrian ramps, traffic signals, street lights, pavement markings and street signals.
City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) said the project has been three decades in planning and will go a long way toward making the area a better place to live.
“The people of Ozone Park have been waiting for this project for 30 years and I’m thrilled that their patience will finally pay off,” he said. “This project will do so much to make Centerville a better place to live and positively affect property values in the process.”
A DDC spokesman said budgeting issues and the massive scope of the project all contributed to several delays over the years.
Community Board 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton said street conditions have been a major concern of Ozone Park residents for a number of years and she applauded the city for finally bringing this project to fruition.
Braton said decades of wear and tear have made traversing the streets in Ozone Park a dangerous activity in some places and residents constantly bring pothole issues to board meetings.
“Projects like these do not happen overnight and our streets have not been reconstructed in a good many decades,” she said. “It’s important to take time and do this the right way. Once you get to the point of bulldozers on the street, you want to make sure it’s planned out and it’s done the right way.”
She also said the project will solve some longstanding drainage issues in the area as well.
“It’s been a long time coming, but we’re happy changes are on the way,” she said.
Final designs for the project are expected this June and full completion of the project is expected in March 2017.
Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4546.