By Gina Martinez
Main Street is about to become a lot more convenient for pedestrians and commuters. City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) announced an upcoming project that will completely reconstruct four blocks of the second busiest pedestrian hub in New York City behind Times Square.
The project, set to cost up to $7.8 million, will reconstruct and resurface the roadbed; replace manholes, fire hydrants and sewers; and widen the sidewalk, among other things. The sidewalk from 38th Avenue to 41st Avenue will by widened by as much as eight feet to create more space in an incredibly crowded sidewalk, according to officials. Construction will begin July 25 and is expected to last one year. This will be the first reconstruction of Main Street in more than 20 years.
Koo was joined by Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia, of the Department of Transportation, Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora and other officials to make the announcement Tuesday.
“In keeping with Mayor de Blasio’s vision for a more resilient city, and to accommodate the city’s remarkable growth, DDC is happy to partner to relieve congestion and enhance access to public transportation in one of NYC’s busiest pedestrian corridors,” Peña-Mora said “We are committed to working in the least intrusive way so as to create minimal disturbance. I’d like to thank Council member Koo for his help in coordinating this important project.”
Koo acknowledged that construction would be disruptive for commuters but said the year-long wait would be worth it.
“The reconstruction of Main Street is a major capital improvement project for our district that will significantly improve the long-term quality of life in the downtown Flushing area,” he said “In the short term, our community must endure an entire year of construction at the second busiest pedestrian hub in the city. My office has been working with DOT, DDC, MTA and other agencies over the last year to make sure this project moves forward with as little pain as humanly possible. During this time, we all must be patient while the city works to make sure Main Street finally receives the attention it deserves.”
As a result of construction, bus stops will be temporarily relocated, but officials have promised to warn commuters ahead of time through signs, post on social media and the MTA web site in multiple languages to accommodate the large immigrant community in Flushing. In addition, traffic enforcement agents will be placed at key intersections to maintain the flow of traffic, all construction will be done at night time, and one lane will be open to vehicles in each direction during work hours, according to Koo.
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart