“Whatever it takes, I’m committed to seeing this through to completion,” said City Councilmember Eric Ulrich of the decades-old Reconstruction of Albert Road Area (a.k.a. HWQ411B) project.
At a recent meeting with Janette Sadik-Khan, Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner; Maura McCarthy, DOT Queens Borough Commissioner; and others, Ulrich learned that the project needs $1 million to proceed.
“I will include this in my capital budget request,” said Ulrich. “This will be submitted in a few weeks.”
HWQ411B has been delayed numerous times since it was first proposed in 1981, but last year officials from the city’s DOT, Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said that, if all goes according to plan, 2011 is when construction should begin.
The 28-block project will provide new roadways, sidewalks, sewers and water mains, all of which are desperately needed due to either nonexistence or serious deterioration, say residents.
The DDC, according to Ulrich, is trying to acquire property.
The DOT confirmed this, saying that land will be purchased from property owners in order for the streets to be widened.
“We may see some work start as early as July 1, 2011,” said Ozone Park Civic Association president Howard Kamph. “But by next year, prices may go up and they may be short more money.”
“I don’t want anything to stand in the way of progress,” said an optimistic Ulrich. “I’m holding their feet to the fire. There is a lot of pressure for this to get under way, everyone is watching this project.”
He continued, “At the end of the day, everyone wants to see the same thing – this project started and finished. I want it to be well under way well before I leave office.”
But Kamph is not as hopeful.
“I have a good feeling about it, but I wouldn’t put my money on it,” Kamph said.