Although groundbreaking took place in March, work stalled on the promised comfort station at Little Bay Park in Bayside, but state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) said it’s back on track for completion next fall.
The Department of Parks says its contractor has obtained the required permits from the Department of Buildings recently and excavating for the building’s footing has begun, the senator announced last week.
“I am pleased that construction is progressing on this important yet long overdue project,” he said. “The community has waited many years for a comfort station and with construction well underway and on schedule, it won’t be long before residents can reap the benefits of having a comfort station at a great park like Little Bay.”
Last month, workers at the site said the drainage was in for the parking lot, which took two months, and most of the dry wells were installed.
The $5 million project — which has been promised for eight years — will also include reconstructing and enlarging the parking lot, which is near Fort Totten Park.
Bureaucratic red tape seemed to be the culprit in the long delays, with various city and state agencies blaming each other for the lack of action on building the expensive bathrooms.
At one point, Avella said he was told unofficially that the state Department of Transportation and the state Historic Preservation Office were looking into a possible archeological investigation at the site and that slowed things down. But an area resident pointed out that archeological significance there is a “joke,” noting that the parkland is a result of a 1930s landfill project.
Officials of the Bay Terrace Community Alliance, who have been pushing for action on the comfort station, said as late as last month that they were kept in the dark about the project and were getting conflicting reports from the city.