Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park) sent a letter to the national parks commissioner, Josh Laird, urging him to expedite repairs to the damaged fence along the northeast side of the Joseph P. Addabbo Memorial Bridge in Howard Beach.
“Our hardworking families have been through enough after Sandy and they deserve a neighborhood that they can be proud to call home,” Goldfeder said in the letter. “The level of deterioration and unsightly conditions at the foot of the Addabbo Bridge in Howard Beach is unacceptable and I strongly urge the National Park Service to step up its efforts immediately.”
The assemblyman requested immediate action to address the ongoing maintenance issues at the plot of land between the Addabbo Bridge and Shellbank Basin.
Last August, crews worked to clean the site, which was covered in litter, but has not repaired the fence, which was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy 17 months ago, but some civic leaders, including Dorothy McCloskey, founder of Friends of Charles Park, say the collapsed fence is only exacerbating the trash problem by allowing more access to the site.
“It’s been over a year, since the fence has fallen down and currently it’s a wide open space for any tragedy to occur,” McCloskey said. “Any child could fall in the bay and no one would know. It’s a dangerous situation for the community and it’s time NPS did something about it. An immediate action needs to be taken to make this area safe and secure for our neighborhood.”
McCloskey said last summer that she wanted NPS to utilize the site as parkland, or give it up to a private entity that would.
Daphne Yun, a spokeswoman for the National Park Service, acknowledged the fence is on NPS property and said the agency will tear down and replace the fence in the spring once the weather gets warmer.