A large chunk of Maple Grove Park was suddenly transformed into a parking lot for the Queens District Attorney's Office — with no timetable for when it might be restored, and neither city nor state officials saying who signed off on the decision.
For the past six years, the state Department of Transportation has had the right of way to use a lot near the 1.5-acre park tucked between Queens Boulevard, Hoover Avenue and the Van Wyck Expressway as a staging area while the agency works on the lengthy Kew Gardens Interchange project, according to DOT spokeswoman Diane Park.
The project seeks to widen the highway and rebuild its bridges and ramps between Union Turnpike and Hillside Avenue.
But recently, a portion of the green space was paved over to accommodate a second parking lot located between the staging area and the park's seating area, locals said.
A spokeswoman for the Queens District Attorney’s office, Meris Campbell, said the new parking lot is currently being used by DA's staff. She noted the lot was built by the construction company working on the Interchange project, ECCO III Enterprises, Inc., but couldn't say which city agency gave permission to build it.