By Madina Toure

Although the first phase of the long-delayed Linden Place construction project in College Point is expected to open to the public this spring, residents and community leaders are up in arms about the project delays.

Joseph Femenia, president of the College Point Civic and Taxpayers Association, said he does not understand why it has taken so long for the project to come to fruition. It is designed to reroute traffic in the area.

He said the city has made a number of promises to College Point in addition to the Linden Place project, including the marine transfer station, the police academy and a special zoning district, but it has yet to deliver.

“Nobody’s keeping their promises to College Point,” Femenia said.

Reconstruction of Linden Place started in the spring of 2009 and was expected to be completed in the fall.

The first phase of the project, between 28th Avenue to 23rd Avenue, is nearing completion and is expected to open to the public this spring, according to an EDC spokesman. This is expected to provide direct access to the Whitestone Expressway and alleviate traffic flow within the College Point Corporate Park.

But the second phase, which covers 132nd Street from 23rd Avenue to 20th Avenue, will start this spring, the spokesman said. This would connect 20th Avenue and Linden Place and help alleviate traffic.

Work on the second phase requires the construction of a surcharge, which has to settle, he added. It also needs to pass a review process before construction of the roadway can begin.

The EDC spokesman said constructing a brand new roadway alongside a wetland is a complicated process that would require extensive mediation and new surcharge work.

But he said the new roadway would help connect the current College Point Corporate Park roadways in a way that will alleviate traffic congestion.

Barbara McHugh, vice president of the College Point Civic and Taxpayers Association, said Ulmer Street is one of the major problem areas.

The street has a hump in the middle of the road, she said.

“Ulmer Street is in disarray,” McHugh said. “It needs to be reconstructed, reconditioned.”

McHugh said the project needs to be done to improve the traffic in the area.

‘We really need it done because we have a lot of truck traffic going through the roads,” she said.

Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtoure@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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