Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday that he would be allocating $29.6 million for the Long Island City Reconstruction Project, which will include the complete reconstruction of several streets and a sewer line project.
During de Blasio’s Vision Zero press conference at Woodside’s Razi School, he also announced that 2015 was the safest year on record in New York City streets; traffic fatalities are down 22 percent and there were 66 fewer lives lost in 2015 than in 2013, before Vision Zero was launched.
The reconstruction project, which will encompass a portion of the $115 million in capital funds he will allocate to expand Vision Zero, will include traffic calming measures such as speed humps, raised crossings and slow zones and sidewalk extensions on Long Island City streets in addition to total reconstruction of streets extending from Fifth Street and 44th Drive to Jackson and Borden Avenues.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) will look to improve pedestrian, vehicle and bicycle safety and mobility, and the agency held a workshop last month to collect community feedback. Some of this feedback included calls for streetscaping along 11th street and Vernon Boulevard, repaving certain streets and adding curb cutouts. According to a DOT spokesperson, the changes are being made “to meet the current and anticipated future demands of this growing neighborhood.”
A spokesperson for Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who co-sponsored the workshop, said the reconstruction will follow a large-scale sewer project in the neighborhood. The sewer project will help streamline issues with plumbing and sewer infrastructure in a neighborhood that has seen rapid development, he said. Existing sewers will be replaced and new sewer infrastructure will be installed in new developments.
The DOT will also focus on re-landscaping the area after streets are ripped up for sewer construction.
The preliminary design, which will incorporate feedback from Long Island City residents, is expected to be complete this summer.