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.
"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