The NYS Department of Transportation held one more meeting for the public concerning the proposed improvements on the Van Wyck Expressway (I-678). Due to current congestion, once the JFK Airport development is underway, the DOT is planning to add a lane and improve access between Kew Gardens interchange and JFK Airport. According to the DOT, the $1.22 billion project will improve vehicular access to and from the airport and the project will address operational, geometric, and structural deficiencies in this area.
The purpose of the meetings were to provide project information and obtain public and agency comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The public comment period was moved from March 18 to April 1st to give residents ample time to respond to the program presented at the various meetings.
Borough residents and business owners have attended the meetings before but it was felt important by the DOT to have one additional meeting.
According to Yvette Reddick of Community Board 12, “the meeting was poorly timed, you know that is impossible to attend a 4 pm meeting for working people.”
One of her concerns is the traffic that might go through the neighborhoods during construction. Asked if DOT was receptive to her concerns, she said “ Yes. But we will have to wait and see.” Overall she felt that although the times for the meetings were bad, a lot of information was shared. She added. “ It is a multiple phase project and it is a long project.” According to NYSDOT, the Van Wyck is a vital transportation corridor providing access to and from the John F. Kennedy International Airport and also serves as the major route for commercial truck traffic to get to and from the airport. For more information: Van Wyck Expressway Project Team, NYS Department of Transportation, Engineering – 5th Floor, 47-40 21st Street, Long Island City, New York, 11101, 718- 482-4683, www.vwe@d