State Senator John Liu, along with community members and members of the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) broke ground on the new green barrier along the northbound Clearview Expressway between 18th Avenue and 26th Avenue on Thursday, Nov. 17.
Among those also in attendance were Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, DOT Regional Director Craig Ruyle and Bayside Town Houses President Jon Rosenblum.
When the plants fully grow, they will help to decrease noise and air pollution to the nearby Bayside Town House community. Planting work along the side of the Clearview Expressway is expected to conclude around mid-December.
“Queens residents here in Bayside have long endured excessive noise, stink and eyesores from the Clearview Expressway,” Liu said. “This green barrier will not only insulate this stretch of our community from the persistent din of traffic along the Clearview Expressway, it will also contribute to the beautification and protection of our environment without the unsightliness of traditional sight and sound barrier walls. Many thanks to the state DOT and residents of the Bayside Town House community for working with our office and thinking outside the box to find creative solutions to these long-standing quality-of-life issues.”
Members of the Bayside Town House community had been dealing with visual, noise and air pollution from the adjacent Clearview Expressway for many years and looked to Liu for help.
Liu was able to secure $250,000 in funding for the green barrier to help improve the neighborhood’s quality of life.
“Noise pollution is not only a nuisance, but a hazard that can adversely impact public health and overall quality of life,” Braunstein said. “The green sound barrier that is being constructed along the Clearview Expressway will serve to mitigate the burden of noise pollution and provide necessary relief. I thank Senator Liu for securing funding and NYS DOT for their planning and execution to make this project a reality for Bayside residents who live near this active thoroughfare.”
Approximately 350 evergreens will make up the green barrier. Once it’s fully grown, it will provide dense, year-round vegetation among the existing deciduous trees between nearby homes and the highway. According to the DOT, research has shown that evergreens are a visually appealing and effective noise blocking plant that are effective at absorbing high frequency sounds provide a year-round visual barrier. The plantings will consist of a mixture of eastern red cedar, mountain laurel, American holly and viburnum that will grow to about 10 to 15 feet tall in five to 10 years.
“These plantings will not only enrich the environment but also help to enhance the quality of life for residents living along the northbound Clearview Expressway at this location,” Ruyle said. The New York State Department of Transportation is pleased that the project is now getting underway.”
“The Clearview Expressway has been an ongoing problem for our community and we’re happy this project is coming to fruition,” Rosenblum said. “Many thanks to Senator Liu and our partners in government for making it happen.”