Amtrak finishes work on 31st St. overpass

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After two years, Amtrak is removing the scaffolding around the 31st Street rail overpass, City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) said.

“The scaffolding, although necessary, made the area unattractive, took many of our limited parking spaces and served as a constant reminder that this project seemed to have no end in sight,” Vallone said in a statement. “I’m pleased to announce we can now return to a cleaner and safer area, free of construction equipment, large puddles of stagnant water or ice and the threat of falling debris.”

Construction crews started the removal process earlier this week.

With Vallone’s pressuring, Amtrak and the city Department of Environmental Protection created a new drainage system around the overpass to contain water seepage and renovated the brickwork so pieces would no longer fall off.

Vallone said he would keep pushing Amtrak to install surveillance cameras near the Hell Gate Bridge approaches to discourage trespassers from climbing onto the bridge and hurling rocks.

Updated 5:44 pm, October 10, 2011
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