After five long years it appears that the North Shore Marine Transfer Station in College Point is finished, but when will it open?
There have been problems along the way. Some people opposed it because of its location near LaGuardia Airport. They feared birds would be attracted to the site and ultimately cause accidents with planes.
Eventually, the building’s three-story height was lowered by 12 feet and federal and Sanitation officials said the facility and its smells will be so confined that there will not be an issue with birds.
The garbage will be processed in an enclosed building that maintains air pressure to prevent escape of odors.
The $121 million North Shore MTS had also been opposed at one time by former Congressman Gary Ackerman, because of its proximity to LaGuardia. He believed it might be a hazard to airport traffic, since it is only 2,000 feet from one of the runways.
But the FAA assured him that safety requirements were being met.
Then there was trouble pile driving, which took longer than expected. The station is located at 120-15 31 Ave., the site of the original smaller transfer station, built in 1954, which was torn down.
But similar projects in other boroughs have taken an average of two to three years to complete. Sanitation officials expected the College Point project to take three years and be completed by 2013.
Gene Kelty, chairman of Community Board 7, said members had wanted to take a walk-through, but that he had received no updates from Department of Sanitation officials.
CB 7 District Manager Marilyn Bitterman said she had heard the facility would open in December or early next year, but had no definite information.