Whether a 1,000-foot stretch of Eliot Avenue in Middle Village should be closed during an upcoming reconstruction will be discussed at a Community Board 5 meeting next week.
City officials are hoping to excavate and reconstruct the avenue and its sidewalks from Mount Olivet Crescent to 67th Street. The $1.6 million overhaul would build new curbing and install sewer lines and a water main, according to Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano.
The contractor, DeBoe Construction Company, wants to complete the project in two months, but would close the roadway entirely. The alternative, which would take four months, would keep the roadway open during the day while crews work from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Councilman Dennis Gallagher (R-Middle Village) is backing the four-month option. “We favor the proposal that has the minimal effect on traffic and the life of the community,” he said.
If Eliot Avenue were closed, traffic would be diverted onto congested Metropolitan and Grand avenues. “Traffic is an absolute disaster, and we already have a lot of different construction on those avenues,” Gallagher said.
The main goal of the work is to widen the sidewalk on the south side to allow for safer walking. “It’s narrow, broken up and very gravelly,” Giordano said. “It’s not a roadway where you could push a shopping cart.”
Community Board 5 has requested the roadway be repaired for at least five years. Its meeting will be held on Thursday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at Christ the King High School, 68-02 Metropolitan Ave. in Middle Village.