State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) and Long Island Rail Road officials cut the ribbon on the renovated Broadway station which had been sitting in disrepair for decades.
Work on the station in Flushing, which is mostly complete, was funded by a $1.7 million grant secured by Padavan and has taken about a year.
Padavan contrasted the old station with its renovated version.
It was a kind of dingy, little thing, Padavan said of the LIRR stop before work had started. This makes the experience of commuters a lot more pleasant.
The $1.7 million funded a wide range of work. The roof was replaced with shingles and the waiting room was completely redone with a ceramic tile floor, air conditioning, a new ticket window and two new bathrooms. New doors and small, stained-glass windows also were added to the waiting room.
The station was completely repainted.
The work on the Broadway station is part of a large project launched by the LIRR to renovate its Queens and Long Island stations.
The conditions of the stations have prompted criticism.
In April 2001, city Comptroller Alan Hevesi issued a report saying that broken concrete, leaking water, and exposed and protruding nails presented safety hazards at stations in Queens.
The report found the Broadway station as well as the Murray Hill and Rosedale stops to be in poor condition.
According to Hevesis report, the Broadway station had a deteriorated platform and a large section of fallen concrete along with a platform shelter with protruding rusty nails, puddles of water and uneven platform sidewalks with gaps in paving.
The repair of the Broadway station comes in the third year of the LIRRs program to fix 65 of its 124 stations, said LIRR President Kenneth Bauer.
When I did a tour of Queens stations, there were a number of stations in need of repair, and I think weve really worked to do that, Bauer said.
Padavan has appropriated funding for several of those stations. The Auburndale station is currently in the midst of a platform extension with $2.5 million allocated by Padavan. Padavan said he had also secured $2 million for the Murray Hill station, where work is expected to begin in the spring of 2003.
Community leaders who gathered at the ribbon cutting noted the difference in the Broadway station.
I ride this frequently, said Mary Anderson, president of the East Flushing Civic Association. And I cant believe the difference. We are going to get more ridership. We have a beautiful waiting room.
Anderson said graffiti had plagued the station in the past, and she hoped the LIRR would make sure to paint over graffiti at the renovated station in the future.
Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 141.
©2002 Community News Group
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