Last month, Floral Park Trustee Mary-Grace Tomecki and Deputy Mayor Tom Tweedy participated in a conference call with engineers from the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) for the purpose of discussing the status of the proposed rehabilitation of Jericho Turnpike (Route 25A) from the New York City line to Herricks Road. The conference call was arranged by Gerry Petrella, the Long Island Regional representative for Senator Charles Schumer.
As Floral Park residents may recall, the Department of Transportation hosted public scoping hearings at New Hyde Park Memorial High School in September of 2008 regarding the proposed project. At that time, the plan, for the most part, was well-received by the affected communities. Nevertheless, only a few months later, in April 2009, the NYS Department of Transportation disclosed that the failure to receive $200,000 in funding to cover the costs of design approval and an additional $800,000 for the detailed design phase of the project meant that the future rehabilitation of Jericho was in doubt.
The conference call, however, yielded a positive update. The DOT revealed that the funding for both components of the design phase was recently restored and as of today, the design phase is near completion, with most of the final maps signed and the right away process slated to begin. According to Tomecki, “This means that the long-awaited plan to improve safety and mitigate traffic along a congested 4.2 mile section of Jericho is definitely back on track. And, while the representatives from the Department of Transportation conceded that the current economic climate and budgetary challenges confronting New York State suggests that there are no guarantees, as it stands now, the facelift of Jericho Turnpike is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2012.”
“As the Village of Floral Park, along with her neighboring communities, has been actively appealing for these improvements for almost 30 years, the reconstruction project simply cannot happen soon enough,” Tomecki added. “In this spirit, I wish to thank the Office of Senator Charles Schumer and his able-bodied staff, specifically Gerry Petrella for supporting efforts to improve the quality of life enjoyed in Floral Park,” said Tomecki.