BY JAMES FARRELL
After more than a year of work, the $7.8 million expansion of Main Street’s sidewalks is finally complete, officials announced on Thursday.
The project, completed by the city’s Department of Transportation and Department of Design and Construction, began in July 2016 and was meant to alleviate crowding issues along the busy and congested downtown Flushing corridor. Sidewalks were widened—in some places, by up to nine feet—between 38th Avenue and 41st Avenue. Additionally, the project added new catch basins and fire hydrants, upgraded existing water mains and sewers and brought a new northbound SBS bus lane between 40th Road and Roosevelt Avenue.
The project was billed as the first major reconstruction done on Main Street in more than 20 years and a Vision Zero initiative that would improve pedestrian safety.
“After more than a year of construction in the busiest transportation hub in Queens, we are extremely excited to announce that the Main Street reconstruction and sidewalk widening is finally finished,” said Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing). “For far too long, Flushing’s sidewalks were too small to accommodate the thousands of people who commute here via bus, train and car. Now, with as much as nine feet of new sidewalk space in some places, walking down Main Street is a new and improved experience.”
Koo’s office allocated $300,000 in funding to the project.
While the ongoing work along the sidewalks led to some inconveniences, such as limited access on the roadways, officials said that the project will ultimately lead to an improved Main Street—currently, the second most congested pedestrian corridor, behind only Times Square.
“We’re pleased that the sidewalks have been widened and that we can get back to what we were doing best, which is to create the most dynamic business community in New York,” said John Choe, executive director of the Greater Flushing Chamber of Commerce at a ribbon cutting celebrating the sidewalks.
Reach James Farrell at (718) 357-7400 x 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @farrellj329.