By Mark Hallum
State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) announced a response from the state Dept. of Transportation regarding his request for the agency to repair entrance and exit ramps on the Grand Central Parkway and the Clearview Expressway. According to the DOT, Exit 1 off the Clearview Expressway going southbound which connects to the Grand Central Parkway headed eastbound, and the entrance and exit ramps to the Clearview Expressway at 188th Street will be refurbished.
“I am thrilled to announce that these entrance and exit ramps will be repaired and repaved in the new year. I want to thank the New York State Department of Transportation for evaluating these areas, as well as for assuring me that this work will be completed in the coming year. These repairs are necessary for the thousands of drivers who use the aforementioned ramps on a daily basis, and I am glad to see our infrastructure receive the attention it deserves,” Avella said.
Constituents have been requesting the repairs through Avella’s office for an extended period of time.
“The ramps needed partial or total repavement for what we would estimate is nearing a decade,” Avella spokesman Conner Quinn said. “What happens is state DOT gives the city money to fix the highways and they do that, but they almost always forget about the ramps. That is why Sen, Avella is thankful that the state is taking the time to work on these ramps.”
The Bayside senator has a long history grappling with the city DOT to follow through with requests for improved road conditions throughout his district. Avella expressed frustration with the agency in September when his latest request for an all-way stop sign at the intersections of 23rd Avenue and Corporal Kennedy Street as well as the intersection of 23rd Avenue and 211th Street was rejected by the DOT.
Then in October, Avella stood with residents of Bayside Towne House Condo complex at 18-66 Corporal Kennedy St. to pressure the city branch of the agency to build a sound barrier along part of the Clearview Expressway running the length of the neighborhood. Noise complaints and pollution concerns were among resident vexations. According to DOT, however, sound barriers are only constructed during times when major work on roads is underway or entirely new roads are being built.
As for the freeway ramps approved Dec. 28, the Exit 1 project has been slated for completion by the new year while the 188th Street portion will be completed by the end of 2017.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall