Long-awaited repairs to College Point’s MacNeil Park Seawall have finally begun.
City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), Borough President Melinda Katz and the New York City Parks Department announced the start of construction of the $5.2 million project, which will be carried out by AAH Construction Corporation and is slated to be completed by August 2019.
College Point residents have been fighting for repairs to be made to the waterfront path and seawall for years.
According to residents, there are holes in the seawall, which only worsened after Hurricane Sandy. Despite receiving multiple bids to contractors over the years, the Parks Department did not make any serious progress.
Construction on the seawall was initially set to begin in 2015, but nothing was done and the path was fenced off, angering many residents. Then in December 2016, two bidders withdrew their offers when they did not meet a apprenticeship mandate from the mayor’s office, further delaying the search for a contractor.
Last year, environmentalist Kathryn Cervino began a petition page on thepetitionsite.com — which garnered nearly 500 supporters — asking Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski to demand a contract be awarded. In November 2017, Vallone announced that a $4.4 million contract has been awarded to AAH Contractor.
Vallone said the beginning of the construction is a huge victory for College Point.
“These repairs have been needed urgently and I applaud the Parks Department for following through on this community request,” he said. “I look forward to continuing to work with the College Point community so that the dream of a vibrant MacNeil Park with waterfront accessibility is fully realized.”
Katz said MacNeil Park has always been an essential recreational resource for the College Point community, which should soon be able to properly enjoy it.
“The repairs to the MacNeil Park seawall will enable full access to the park’s waterfront to be restored and make the park an even more enjoyable place to visit,” she said. “A vibrant waterfront esplanade will become a reality at MacNeil Park once this vitally important seawall repair project is completed.”
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart
©2018 Community News Group
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