2018-07-18 / Front Page

Lefferts Blvd. Bridge Will Not Be Torn Down!

Council Member Koslowitz (at podium) was joined by the late Assembly Member Michael Simanowitz, at a September 2016 gathering of store owners and community members on Lefferts Boulevard to protest the conditions on the bridge.Council Member Koslowitz (at podium) was joined by the late Assembly Member Michael Simanowitz, at a September 2016 gathering of store owners and community members on Lefferts Boulevard to protest the conditions on the bridge.At a meeting held at Queens Borough Hall on Tuesday, July 11, Long Island Rail Road President Phillip Eng announced that the Lefferts Blvd. Bridge will NOT be demolished.

This brings to an end a long struggle to stop the LIRR from demolishing the bridge. The railroad’s original position had been that the bridge was reaching the point of being structurally unsafe and had to come down. This would have been a major blow to the Kew Gardens community who relied on the bridge as a critical, irreplaceable road through their neighborhood. Also gone, along with the bridge, would have been the mom and pop shops that the neighborhood relies upon.

Last summer, under pressure from Kew Gardens residents and local legislators, the LIRR agreed that it would commission a feasibility study to see if the bridge could be saved, but it did not have the money to fund the study. Enter Council Member Karen Koslowitz who promised to secure the funds for it, and she came through.

Last May, at a meeting in Queens Borough President Katz’ office, newly installed LIRR President Eng said he would like a few weeks to review the whole matter. Eng, a professional engineer, along with other analysts, came to the conclusion that the bridge could be rehabilitated and that the cost should be no more than $1 million. The $1 million that Koslowitz had set aside for the feasibility study will now be used to fund the repair of this structure.

“Speaking for myself, my fellow legislators and the Kew Gardens community, I commend LIRR President Phillip Eng for his willingness to reexamine the problem, bringing his professional abilities and background to the analysis, and concluding that the bridge does not have to be demolished. I am pleased that I was able to secure the funding to make this repair possible,” said Council Member Koslowitz.

 

 

 

 

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