PHOTO: Assemblymen Phil Goldfeder (blue sweatshirt) and Todd Kaminsky (Goldfeder l.) have been calling on NYSDOT to repair rapidly deteriorating Route 878. Photo Courtesy of NYS Assembly
Citing the need for urgent action to repair vital evacuation routes and ease daily traffic nightmares, Assembly Members Phil Goldfeder (D – Far Rockaway) and Todd Kaminsky (D – Lawrence), and Nassau County Legislator Howard Kopel (R – Woodmere) led an interagency meeting of transportation officials to urge movement on long-anticipated repairs to the heavily-deteriorated Route 878-Nassau Expressway.
“The longer we delay repairs to Rockaway Turnpike, Rockaway Boulevard and the 878, the more our families are put at risk during our commutes and in the event of major storms,” said Goldfeder. “This roadway is one of only three evacuation routes for thousands of families on the Rockaway Peninsula. I am encouraged by the state Transportation Department’s commitment to explore ways to fix Route 878 and will continue to work with my colleagues at all levels of government to ensure that something is finally done.”
Meeting last week at the Atlantic Bridge administrative building in Lawrence, the assemblymen sat down with officials from the city and state Transportation Departments, as well as Nassau County Department of Public Works to review potential repairs to Route 878-Nassau Expressway. The elected officials joined state transportation representatives in discussing plans under the state’s 2012 study of the major roadway.
Responding to concerns from Goldfeder, Kaminsky, and Kopel, the state officials agreed to consider possible actions in the study that could be expedited, vowing to follow up with their conclusions. Last year, the assemblymen joined dozens of elected officials, first responders, and irate commuters in a rally to expedite repairs to Route 878-Nassau Expressway. Most recently, Goldfeder and Kaminsky wrote to the state Department of Transportation urging for Route 878-Nassau Expressway to be included in the state’s Accelerated Repaving Projects list. The officials’ most recent push has taken on added urgency following the near-miss of Hurricane Joaquin late last month. The roadway, which regularly sees flooding after rainstorms, would have been ill-prepared for the major storm, they have noted.
NYSDOT has proposed a Nassau Expressway Operational Improvement Project to address traffic operational and safety issues, poor pavement and drainage conditions, and aesthetic issues along the route. However, this project isn’t expected to begin until 2023, with an anticipated completion date in fall of 2025.
“It was imperative that every agency sit in the same room to eliminate finger-pointing and encourage cooperation,” said Goldfeder. “While the future is still unclear, we will continue to do everything possible to bring much needed traffic relief to our families.”
By Forum Staff