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Queens Chronicle

Astoria playground to get major face-lift

Pingpong and volleyball coming to Triborough Bridge Playground-A

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Posted: Thursday, December 19, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:36 am, Thu Dec 26, 2013.

Driving along in Astoria, it’s easy to miss Triborough Bridge Playground-A — named for the bridge it sits under.

It’s barren. Cracked cement and crumbling handball courts make what could be a popular hangout spot into an eyesore.

In order to improve the conditions of the playground, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) partnered with the Parks Department.

Vallone, who allocated $275,000 for renovations, worked closely with designers to create a new and improved play area that will include outdoor pingpong and a volleyball court.

Vallone, Chief of Staff to the Queens Borough Commissioner of the Parks Department Joanne Amagrande and Community Board 1 Parks Chairman Richard Khuzami revealed the final rendering for the playground last Thursday.

“We are very happy with all the work Councilman Vallone has put into making this a better neighborhood and we are excited to have these improvements in this playground,” Khuzami said.

“I have made a point throughout my time in office to improve the conditions in my district’s parks and green spaces,” Vallone said. “I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to make so many of the parks here into more enjoyable areas for the community.”

Vallone has allocated more than $10 million to parks in his district since he became a councilman 12 years ago.

An accomplished table tennis player, Vallone was most excited to bring two permanent all-weather pingpong tables and the volleyball courts to the Triborough Bridge Playground-A.

Vallone is on a beach and indoor volleyball team with his 18-year-old daughter Caroline, who is an All-City MSG Varsity Volleyball player.

“Volleyball and pingpong are sports I’ve grown up playing and are great to participate in at any age but unfortunately, it’s sometimes difficult to find a place to play,” Vallone said. “I’m excited to bring these activities to Astoria and bring this dormant park back to life.”

In addition to the money allocated by Vallone’s office, the Parks Department was able to secure matching mayoral funds, contributing an additional $275,000 to the project for even more improvements including reconstruction of the handball wall.

The park will also have exercise equipment as well as new drains and fences which have been leaning and corroding for some time now.

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