As the future of the Rockaway Beach line remains in question, one thing is not up for debate: the deteriorating stanchions are now much safer thanks to recent repairs.
During a press conference in December of last year, state Senator Joseph Addabbo called on city agencies to repair the stanchions of Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) line at the intersection of Yellowstone Boulevard and Kessel Street on the Forest Hills/Rego Park border, which last saw train service in the 1960s.
Addabbo returned to the site on Thursday afternoon with Community Board 6 (CB 6) District Manager Frank Gulluscio to thank the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) for answering the call and making the repairs.
“The disrepair these structures were in just a few months ago posed a serious hazard to the community,” Addabbo said. “This rail line may be abandoned, but the structure still stands over an active roadway and pedestrian underpass, putting thousands of people in danger as the rust-covered stanchions that support it were crumbling more and more each day. It was time to finally shed some light on the hazardous state these stanchions were in before a preventable tragedy occurred.”
Earlier this month DCAS came and added taller concrete bases to the stanchions, providing for a more stable structure and mending the gaping holes that rusted through the metal pillars. They also painted the portions of the stanchions to make them more visually appealing.
“It was a major concern in Community Board 6, without a doubt,” Gulluscio said. “And you can see, they wouldn’t have done all this work if it wasn’t needed. Obviously it was needed … it’s better to be proactive than to be reactive after somebody gets hurt and a situation occurs.”
Three other locations along the rail line — 93rd Avenue, 103rd Avenue and 101st Avenue — are in disrepair as well and Addabbo plans to work with city agencies to ensure that they are also repaired.