Tag Archives: repair

G train to shut down between Brooklyn and LIC for five weeks

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com


Starting in July, G train riders are going to have to find a new way to get from Brooklyn to Queens.

The line will be shut down for five weeks, including weekdays and weekends, starting on July 28 with service suspended between the Nassau Avenue and Court Square stations, according to the MTA.

The closures are due to Sandy-related repairs, which involve track, structural, signal and electrical component repairs and replacement work, the transit agency said. The work was scheduled during this period because it is when the G train has the lowest ridership.

The full details of the service plan for this G line closure are still being finalized. During the five weeks, there will be no scheduled suspensions on the No. 7 and L subway lines.

Beginning this month, the No. 7 line is slated to be suspended for a total of 22 weekends this year.

Last July, the MTA shut down the G line for 12 weekends in order to make Sandy-related repairs. Although the agency provided shuttle buses during the suspensions, there was an uproar from local leaders, residents and business owners who said the shut down caused riders inconveniences.



City fills more than 21,000 potholes in Queens

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

More than 21,000 pesky potholes in Queens have been filled so far during this year’s snowier than usual winter, the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) said.

Nearly 2,000 in the borough were fixed last weekend, as part of the city’s season-long repair efforts, a department spokesperson said.

Since January, the 1,000-member roadway crew has set a record pace, working around the clock to fix more than 75,000 potholes along the city’s rocky roads, DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said.

“These tireless public servants … will be filling many more given the snowstorms the city has already faced this winter, and the wear and tear that inflicts,” Trottenberg said.

Potholes typically pop up around February and die down by April, though the timeline is dependent on weather, experts say.

They form when water, that slips into cracks under the road, freezes and expands when the temperature changes, causing a freeze and thaw cycle that damages the road.

It becomes a hole when heavy traffic rolls over the weakened spot.

“It’s crazy, especially now after all the snow. Forget about it,” said Jose Soto, who drives from Flushing to Astoria. “It ruins your tires. You can get in an accident. It’s annoying. You have to zigzag.”

It typically takes a few minutes for crews to fill, compact and seal a pothole, a DOT spokesperson said.

More work is expected to be done next week on residential streets and major roadways, including the Long Island Expressway’s (LIE) eastbound service road, between Little Neck Parkway and the Nassau County border, and 149th Street at 27th Avenue in Linden Hill, the DOT said.

“It’s like a minefield on the LIE,” said driver Risa Doherty, who commutes from Roslyn in Nassau County to Bayside. “Cars are swerving around the potholes at high speeds.”

To report a pothole, call 3-1-1 or visit nyc.gov.

Craters generally have to be at least one foot in diameter and three inches deep to be fixed, according to the DOT’s website.



Homeowner says he was bilked by city

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

A dog lounges leisurely in the backyard of John Biagi’s Utopia Parkway home, which rests on a quiet corner, overlooking the neighborhood park.

But in place of this Fresh Meadows man’s white picket fence is a white handcrafted billboard sign that reads “Another Homeowner Screwed by NYC” in bold, red-painted lettering.

“This is the American Dream to buy a house, and I love it. But how can I afford to keep it? The city just comes and does whatever it wants. I feel violated,” said Biagi, who has lived in his home for over 20 years.

Biagi, a 62-year-old retired mechanic, told The Courier he was warned in 2004 by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to replace approximately 68-square-feet of sidewalk on his property — defective from two trees that the city recently removed, he said. Although Biagi said he had every plan to cooperate with the agency, he first requested for more information about the broken slabs. He said he did not hear back from them.

Then, city workers came out of the woodwork in 2009, he said, replacing nearly the entire sidewalk surrounding Biagi’s corner home — including close to 800-square-feet of pavement instead of the originally estimated 68.

The total cost the city billed to Biagi: $2,240.69.

“If the sidewalk is bad in front of your house, I understand it’s your responsibility to get it fixed. If you came and told me I have to fix three broken slabs, show me where and I’ll pay you. But they never notified me. I came home one afternoon, and every piece of concrete around my house was totally gone,” Biagi said.

According to the city’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC), the revised estimate was “based on additional sidewalk flags which were observed to be broken or were identified as trip hazards.”

However, the agency said the total bill sent to Biagi only represented 30 percent of the total sidewalk replacement work. The other 70 percent of the construction, officials said, were done to “provide uniformity in grade” and were not charged to Biagi’s account.

Out of frustration, Biagi said he called 3-1-1, filed three complaints and then contacted the city’s comptroller John Liu, the DOT, the DDC and Councilmember Dan Halloran — who he said was the only helpful one.

Still, four years later, Biagi said he keeps getting the runaround from the city’s agencies.

“Each year, I get letters from these people saying they are going to investigate, but they said, ‘It may take a year.’ It’s been four years since they redid the cement. It’s been four years now that I’ve been waiting,” Biagi said.

According to the DDC, investigations and requests for more information can take four months up to a few years.

Biagi said what angers him most is the fact that the DDC allegedly attached the expenses to his mortgage and took the remaining balance out of his real estate taxes.

“They said, ‘Once you pay it, we can’t refund your money.’ But, I didn’t pay them. It’s like everywhere you turn, when you walk down the street, you have to hold on to your wallet because you fear somebody’s going to rob you. You come to your house, and you feel you’re safe. But with this city, with this administration, I’m not safe with the doors locked with a 130-pound dog,” Biagi said. “They go into my bank account and take money. They’re charging you for what’s not yours. They get away with it a thousand times. But I’m making noise. I’m not taking this anymore.”