You are reading

Queens Electeds Back Holden’s Proposal to Deck Section of Long Island Expressway in Maspeth

An ambitious plan proposed by councilmember Robert Holden that would see a section of the Long Island Expressway in Maspeth decked over is quickly gathering support among Queens legislators. (Photos, from L to R; Councilmember Robert Holden via NYC Council, Congresswoman Grace Meng via NYC Council; Sen. Chuck Schumer via Mike Gianaris Twitter; State Senator Joseph Addabbo official portrait, Assemblyman Brian Barnwell via Facebook)

July 18, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

An ambitious plan proposed by councilmember Robert Holden that would see a section of the Long Island Expressway in Maspeth decked over is quickly gathering support among Queens legislators.

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Congresswoman Grace Meng, State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman Brian Barnwell have now voiced their support for exploring the proposal.

The plan for the LIE in Maspeth, which is in its infancy stages, would see a 1,600-foot stretch of the highway from 69th Lane to Hamilton Place covered, or capped, with a decking-like structure. A park area would then be created on top of the structure along with parking spaces. The roadway below would remain unchanged.

Holden, who called for the new plans earlier this month, says the project would drastically reduce noise pollution in the community and would also help to physically reconnect the neighborhood – given that the highway slices through the heart of the neighborhood.

He has now garnered the support of the four Queens lawmakers.

On Thursday Meng penned a letter to Mayor Adams requesting the city apply for a grant from the Infrastructure Bill that would then be used to study the feasibility of the plan — as well as similar projects throughout the city. The letter was co-signed by Addabbo, Barnwell and Holden. Schumer has also indicated his support for the proposal.

“Maspeth residents have long faced significant air and noise pollution from the barrage of cars and trucks,” the letter reads.

“Additionally, the expressway has few pedestrian crossings, making it especially difficult for seniors and children to access their community in its entirety.”

“I encourage the city to explore ways in which this community could be reconnected.”

Maspeth Cap

The project, if completed, would see a 1,600-foot stretch of the LIE running from 69th Lane to Hamilton Place in Maspeth covered, or capped, by a decking-like structure. The area is marked above (Google Maps)

The letter states that the city could tap into funds of up to $2 million to carry out the evaluations.

“I believe securing this funding would be a crucial step forward in finally reconnecting Maspeth.”

The Long Island Expressway was built in the 1950s at a time when many of America’s highways were being constructed. While the projects connected many parts of the country, critics argue that the roads also physically separated communities such as Maspeth.

Thursday’s letter comes after Holden initially pitched the idea in a July 5 letter to Schumer, Meng and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. In the letter, he appealed to the lawmakers to tap into the estimated $110 billion from the Infrastructure Bill that is being allocated for public roads and bridges. The bill was signed into law by President Joe Biden in November.

He noted that the city could not afford to pay for such a large-scale project in Maspeth.

Meng, in a statement to the Queens Post Thursday, said she supported the plan for the LIE in Maspeth but said the city must act to get the project off the ground.

“While I proudly passed the bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, it is now up to the city to apply for available funding,” Meng said.

“I hope Councilman Holden can work with the city to apply for the federal funding that I have already voted for and secured.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Schumer said the lawmaker is happy to work with community leaders to advance the project.

The Queens Post reached out to Gillibrand’s office for a response to Holden’s initial letter but did not receive a response before publication.

The plans call for a section of the LIE in Maspeth to be decked over (Photo: Google Maps)

Letter to Mayor by Queens Post

email the author: news@queenspost.com
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Urgent manhunt underway for ‘animal’ who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in Flushing park on Thursday: NYPD

The NYPD announced a $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of a Hispanic man who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in a wooded area of Kissena Corridor Park on Thursday afternoon.

More than sixty investigators were at the crime scene late into the night. During a press briefing by NYPD brass on Friday, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said that the manhunt was expanded city-wide and that the department would spare no expense until the suspect was apprehended.

Southeast Queens man arraigned on weapons charges after cops search his ‘ghost car’ near LaGuardia Airport: DA

A Hollis man was criminally charged after police discovered a cache of weapons in his vehicle during a traffic stop. He was pulled over for driving a “ghost car” with obscured license plates in East Elmhurst near LaGuardia Airport during the early morning hours of June 12.

Judd Sanson, 27, of Jamaica Avenue, was ordered held without bail after he was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday afternoon on a criminal complaint charging him with multiple counts of weapons possession, unlawful possession of pistol or revolver ammunition, and unlawful use of a police uniform or emblem and other crimes after the arsenal was found in his SUV.

Man sought for raping 13-year-old girl in Flushing park in broad daylight Thursday: NYPD

An urgent manhunt is underway in Northeast Queens after a Hispanic man allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl at knifepoint in Kissena Corridor Park in broad daylight on Thursday afternoon.

Police from the 109th Precinct in Flushing reported that the youngster was with a 13-year-old boy in the park near Kalmia Avenue and Colden Street at around 3:30 p.m. when a stranger approached and threatened them with a knife, forcing them both into a wooded section where he tied them up. The perpetrator proceeded to forcibly remove their cell phones before sexually assaulting the girl, police said, adding that he fled in an unknown direction.