A candidate for a local City Council seat is demanding answers from the state’s Department of Transportation to inquiries about the status of construction of the highway overpass at 81st Street and 7th Avenue.
The overpass stretches across the Gowanus Expressway, making it an important artery between Bay Ridge and the Dyker Heights – Bensonhurst communities. Work to overhaul the span’s surface began several months ago and the street has been milled, but not repaved.
Now, John Quaglione, a Republican candidate seeking to unseat Councilman Vincent Gentile, claims that residents have complained to him that work has been at a standstill for several weeks, causing havoc for area commuters.
“This past weekend, I received complaints from local residents of Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights who use this overpass as a connection to travel to work, school, local stores, medical appointments and more. The residents I spoke with are frustrated that this project appears to be more or less at a standstill, and roadway conditions are terrible,” Quaglione wrote in a letter to the New York State Department of Transportation. “The neighborhood is unsure of the status of this project and would like an update. Additionally, due to the high volume of traffic this roadway sees each and every day, I am requesting that this project be a priority for completion as soon as possible.”
Quaglione said the issue was brought to him by resident Wayne Mignosi through Quaglione’s Facebook page.
“The 81st overpass is a vital roadway connecting Bay Ridge to neighboring areas such as Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst. But as of a month ago they stripped down the roadway, leaving nothing but big lifts in the ground causing you to have to drive at about 5 miles per hour,” Mignosi wrote. “There is no work going on half the time and it is unfair to all the communities involved. I hope someone reads this and finishes the work in a timely fashion.”