From the Daily News:
A group of Woodside residents has been griping for years about the noise, garbage and exhaust fumes coming from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway into their neighborhood.
But yesterday's groundbreaking for a new barrier wall that was supposed to bring relief was bittersweet.
The 12-foot-high concrete wall will run 250 feet along Laurel Hill Blvd., an off-ramp on the westbound side of the BQE. But residents said that the wall will only protect a small commercial strip of the road. The residential area farther away will still be vulnerable to the traffic jams that plague the service road during rush hours.
"This is a Band-Aid on a wound that has been festering for many years," acknowledged Rep. Joseph Crowley, who allocated $1.8 million in federal funding for the project. "This is just the beginning, not the end," he said of the sound and pollution barrier slated to be completed next spring.
A total of $2.05 million was allocated for the state Department of Transportation's construction of the wall, with Assemblywoman Margaret Markey kicking in $250,000 in state funds.
But the construction costs will be only $673,000. The $1.38 million left over will go toward modifications and cost over-runs if they arise, said Adam Levine, a DOT spokesman.
The leftover cash won't be enough for a sound barrier on the other side of the road where residents say it is needed most, Levine said, because there is already a large brick embankment there. Building a "structure on top of a structure" could cost millions more, he added.
$1.38M for modifications and cost overruns? Wow.