Friday, June 18, 2010

Ugly J Train El Finally Slated for Much-Needed Facelift Says MTA by Lisa L. Colangelo - NY Daily News

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The long-neglected J train el, which casts a gloomy shadow over Jamaica Ave. in Woodhaven and Richmond Hill, is slated to get a facelift next year.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials told City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley on Wednesday that part of the span will be repaired and painted forest green, Crowley said.

The underside of the tracks is currently marred by chipped paint as well as dirt and grease that have accumulated over decades. Residents and merchants alike have griped that the elevated tracks are an eyesore that hurts the lively shopping strip.

"I'm just thrilled," said Maria Thompson of the Greater Woodhaven Development Corp. "It will be such a psychological lift. We're so tired of bolts falling from it, and the rust and how embarrassing it looks."

The 30-month project, tentatively scheduled to start next year, would rehabilitate steel girders and paint almost 3 miles of the line between the Cypress Hills station and 130th St.

The work is expected to cost between $20 million and $30 million.

Crowley, along with Councilman Eric Ulrich, state Sen. Joseph Addabbo Jr. and Assemblyman Mike Miller have been pressuring the MTA's New York City Transit to spruce up the unsightly structure.

"This renovation will not only serve as a vehicle for economic growth in the area but will create a safer environment for residents and shoppers," Crowley said.

Steve Esposito, who owns the Orthopedic Shoe Clinic on Jamaica Ave., said the announcement is good news for local store owners. "Anything that brightens up the neighborhood is always going to help," he said.

"We take care of our properties. They should have done this 10 years ago."

But Esposito said he won't celebrate until he sees the work actually being done.

"We've been promised this before," he said