DOT and elected officials urge city to fund Douglas Manor repairs

By Tom Momberg

Concerned about the growing state of disrepair of many roads in the Douglas Manor historic district, the city Department of Transportation has requested funds for reconstruction.

The DOT conducted an analysis last year and estimated the project would cost about $260 million. The department has since submitted a request for the funds from the city Office of Management and Budget. The project estimate includes allocations for cobblestone curbs, sewers, storm runoff outfalls, sidewalks and new street lighting.

Elected officials followed up with a letter to the OMB, expressing the dire need for the funds in this year’s DOT capital budget.

The state allocated $210,000 in October for a new guard rail along Shore Road in Douglas Manor to go along with the city’s reconstruction of Shore Road between West Drive and 36th Avenue, which has already started. The projects were funded at the behest of the Douglaston Manor Association, which has been calling on the city for road repairs in the historical Colonial-style neighborhood for years.

The DOT said it expects Shore Road to be completed by the end of 2016, but does not yet have an estimated time line for the project for which the department has just requested funds.

“After many years of decline and without a major repaving, Douglas Manor streets have reached the point of needing major reconstruction,” Douglaston Manor Association President Michael Gannon said.

After the DOT submitted the request for funds, City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) and state Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) chimed in.

“Roadways have been in an escalating state of disrepair for over a decade with certain streets sinking or completely collapsing. In 1997, the Landmarks Preservation Commission designated Douglas Manor as a historic district … (which) must no longer have historically deplorable roadway conditions,” Vallone and Braunstein wrote in their letter to OMB Director Dean Fuleihan.

Reach reporter Tom Momberg by e-mail at tmomberg@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.