To the annoyance of residents and business owners, the city has begun its project to replace old sewer lines in the southern portion of College Point.
The $5.1 million project, started at the beginning of January, is scheduled to be completed in March 2004. Until then, some of College Point's major roads are being torn asunder, causing heavier traffic during some hours of the day.
The construction has already riled some employees of College Point businesses.
"It's a disaster," said Tracy, who works at a printing business on College Point Boulevard that fronts the construction. "I don't know why they are doing it."
Tracy said the printer's paper suppliers could no longer park in front of the business, and the suppliers were charging extra for having to bring their deliveries from trucks parked around the block.
"It's got to cost us at least $1,000 a week," she said.
The city has begun its work on College Point Boulevard from 23rd to 25th avenues. Work will also take place on 25th Avenue and 120th, 121st, 123rd and 124th streets.
The work includes installation of sanitary and storm sewers and water main replacement. The affected roadways will also be reconstructed.
Marilyn Bitterman, district manager of Community Board 7, said the city's decision to undertake the construction was based on complaints and the age of the sewer lines.
"They don't do a job unless it's necessary," she said. "College Point is old."
Work has started with the heavily used College Point Boulevard, one of the few roads which leads into the heart of College Point.
During the day, one block of College Point Boulevard becomes a one-way street and two workers direct traffic past the construction. During off-hours, College Point Boulevard becomes a two-way street.
Trisha Downes, who works at Mastermount, a photography and card business on College Point Boulevard, said the work was an inconvenience.
"Some customers are complaining a little bit," Downes said.
But Downes said she was told that construction on College Point Boulevard was slated to be completed in a matter of weeks, so she did not anticipate any major loss of business.
Some residents said they were not too bothered by the work.
"It really doesn't affect us," said Tina Lao, whose home fronts the sewer work. "If they really need to do this, it's okay."
Sabina Cardali, president of the College Point Civic Taxpayers Association and a TimesLedger columnist, said she had heard of several complaints of low water pressure in the area.
"The idea is fine, but like everything else, when you have a very busy street like College Point Boulevard, it is going to be horrendous," she said.
Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 718 229-0300, Ext. 141.
©2003 Community News Group
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