Calling a damaged and collapsed fence running along part of the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge and Cross Bay Boulevard in Howard Beach an “eyesore,” Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) this week urged the National Park Service to clean up the area that residents said has been a problem spot following Hurricane Sandy.
“Our hardworking families have been through enough after Sandy, and they deserve a neighborhood that they can be proud to call home,” said Goldfeder, who penned a letter to National Parks Commissioner Josh Laird, asking him to take immediate action on the fence that is located on the northeast side of the bridge.
“The level of deterioration and unsightly conditions at the foot of the Addabbo Bridge in Howard Beach is unacceptable, and I strongly urge the National Park Service to step up its efforts immediately,” Goldfeder continued.
The lawmaker noted that summer is not too far away and stressed that the damaged fence will detract from residents being able to enjoy the outdoors.
“It’s been over a year since the fence has fallen down, and currently it’s a wide open space for any tragedy to occur,” said Dorothy McCloskey, founder of Friends of Charles Park. “Any child could fall in the bay and no one would know. It’s a dangerous situation for the community, and it’s time NPS did something about it. An immediate action needs to be taken to make this area safe and secure for our neighborhood.”
Sandy blew the fence down nearly 17 months ago – leaving residents without the structure that once acted as a barricade for trespassers. During the time the fence has remained damaged, pedestrians and fishermen have been able to freely walk through the area – and thereby polluting the grounds.
“Residents of Howard Beach have dealt with these issues for far too long,” Goldfeder said. “A small effort on behalf of NPS will go a very long way in making Howard Beach an even more attractive and safer place for our children and families.”
By Anna Gustafson