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By Tom Momberg

The long-anticipated opening of the comfort station at Little Bay Park is expected by the end of February, the city Department of Parks and Recreation said.

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and former U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) secured over a million dollars in 2004 to install the public bathrooms and expand the parking lot to improve public access to the park and to Fort Totten.

The Parks Department did not break ground on the project until nearly a decade later, at which time both the parking lot and comfort station were expected to be complete by the fall of 2014.

Due to extreme weather, the project’s completion date was pushed back to the following spring, and the 224-space parking lot was finally opened to the public in May 2015 after a big push by elected officials to have it available in time for Independence Day fireworks at Fort Totten.

The comfort station was finally supposed to be finished this spring, and this time, the Parks Department is ahead of schedule.

“We’re happy that this long awaited project is very close to completion, and is projected to open next month,” a Parks Department spokeswoman said.

The Parks Department said work on the comfort station had taken longer than initially expected, because construction crews had to remove and remediate more soil than they originally thought.

“I was happy to hear that the Parks Department will be finishing soon,” Avella said. “I have been up there often and can see there has been a lot of work done and they must be close to finishing, but at this point, I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Reach reporter Tom Momberg by e-mail at tmomberg@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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