Maspeth’s councilwoman helped secure a new contract that would clean up the crud underneath several underpasses in the area.
City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Maspeth) announced an agreement with the state Department of Transportation honing in on the maintenance of underpasses below the Long Island Expressway on 74th Street and 80th Street in Maspeth. The spots have become nesting grounds for the unsightly things pigeons leave behind, the councilwoman said, but not for much longer.
“These underpasses are used by pedestrians going everywhere from P.S. 58 in Maspeth High School, to Elmhurst Park and the shops on Grand Avenue,” Crowley said in a statement. “This chronic pigeon nesting is a serious public health concern, and I am glad to see the DOT taking the appropriate steps.”
Under the new contract, the underpasses will be washed every three months with the first cleaning set for July, Crowley said. The contract was originally put out in February but was re-let by the state DOT because there was only one bidder.
Crowley shed light on the situation back in August when she fired off a letter to the DOT asking for additional steps to address sanitation hazards at the various overpasses. She also worked with the DOT back in 2011 to help install bird spikes at the same underpasses to deter pigeons from hanging out there, but those only went so far.
Pigeons have been a long-standing problem in Maspeth and the surrounding communities with residents living in fear of various bird-related illnesses they could contract. The DOT encouraged all residents in the Maspeth area to refrain from feeding pigeons in the area so they stop frequenting the space. Doing so would be, “a very effective measure in reducing the number of pigeons under the bridges,” the DOT said in a statement.
By Phil Corso