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MTA begins cleaning up Throgs Neck repair debris

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The MTA has begun to clean up lead paint and other debris which collected in Throgs Neck Bridge Park during work to remove lead-based paint from the 2,300-foot span, state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) said Tuesday.

The cleaning work, which mainly includes inspecting and picking up paint chips along the park’s baseball field, grassy areas within 100 feet of the bridge and walkways, began Friday and was expected to conclude within the next week, Padavan said in a statement.

“The MTA has listened to our concerns and they are taking the steps needed to provide peace of mind to the parents, children, families, residents and seniors who enjoy Throgs Neck Bridge Park throughout the winter and summer months,” he said.

Cathy Sweeney, vice president and chief of staff at MTA Bridges and Tunnels, said the authority is accelerating its spring paint chip pick-up program as warmer weather sets in.

“This work will be finished as early as Friday, but certainly before the April 15 start of the baseball season, as requested,” she said in an e-mail to Padavan. “Our on-call contractor for chip pick-up will, of course, remain available as needed as we resume the painting work. When the painting project is done later this year, the Queens side of the bridge will be considered lead-free.”

A study by College Point resident Dr. James Cervino, a marine biologist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, showed in February that heavy metals collected in the park as a result of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s paint-scraping work.

Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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