Douglaston leaders said they are frustrated that a project to upgrade a deteriorated stretch of Shore Road has been moving along at a “painfully slow” pace.
The road’s upgrade is estimated to cost $3.1 million and was originally scheduled to begin this October, Community Board 11 District Manager Susan Seinfeld said.
“It’s very frustrating and quite dangerous,” said George Schmidt, chairman of the Douglaston Manor Association’s Shore Road Construction Committee. “If you ride around, you’ll see the road has collapsed and the water-filled plastic barriers have slid into the eroded areas. So, they are not performing their functions anymore. It’s a real hazard.”
There has been speculation whether leaking water mains or an underground spring caused the deterioration. Heavy rainstorms have caused damage along Shore Road, preventing it from draining properly.
The city’s Design and Construction Department will repair, repave and reconstruct up to a total of 3,700 feet of road along Shore Road as well as West Drive, Beverly Road and 36th Avenue, Seinfeld said.
But a plan to address storm water runoff along the roadway must be addressed by the city’s Environmental Protection and Transportation departments before its remediation can begin, Schmidt said.
“It’s painfully slow,” he said of the process to get the upgrade underway. “They do not seem anxious to move expeditiously. “It’s a conjunction of all these agencies. The DEP does not want water to go into Little Neck Bay, so they are trying to find a plan to hold the water. [The DOT] had a plan where drain water would go into the bay from the roads through drainage systems that currently exist. If not, we go back to square one. We have our fingers crossed.”
Community leaders first noticed damage to the road in the early 1990s. A 150-foot section of the road along Little Neck Bay’s western side near Bay View Road has collapsed, while another portion near Manor Road is deteriorating.
Seinfeld said the project is budgeted for fiscal year 2012, but the logistics of the project must first be determined.
“Unless they get this issue resolved with the method they’ll use to fix it, the longer it’ll take,” she said. “They still have to go through the contracting and vetting process, which can take six months.”
A DEP spokeswoman said the DOT was in charge of the project. The DOT could not be reached for comment.
Douglas Montgomery, vice president of the Douglaston Garden Club, said the street’s collapsed section is not the only issue plaguing Shore Road.
“There are potholes as big as boulders,” he said.
Last week, the DOT announced that Mayor Michael Bloomberg would commit an additional $2 million this year to repairing city streets that were damaged by winter snowstorms.
The agency will pave roads in disrepair and fix potholes across the five boroughs, DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said. But it was unclear whether Shore Road was among the targeted roadways.