Since the late 1990s, former Bayside Town House President Mark Kamen has been looking for a fix for the immense amount of noise flooding into the community from the Clearview Expressway. 

Since then, he has been “singularly minded” about that, as state Sen. John Liu (D-Bayside) put it, and mentioned it to the senator whenever he ran into him “in the park, at the school, at community meetings, in the supermarket ... I think it was once at a gas station,” Liu joked.

On Thursday, it seemed Kamen might have finally gotten the solution he’s been waiting for.

Standing along the northbound service road at 26th Avenue, Liu, Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside), state Department of Transportation Regional Director Craig Ruyle, Kamen and other community leaders broke ground on a new “green barrier” of trees.

“The Bayside Town House community ... has been living with the noise, the unsightliness, the health hazards, anything that’s bad coming from this Clearview Expressway, and they’ve long sought some relief,” Liu said.

 “This is a project that’s been long coming, and it’s finally getting here.”

The barrier will be composed of about 350 evergreen trees of various species — the first of which were placed for planting during Thursday’s press conference — and will stretch along the northbound Clearview from 18th to 26th Avenue. Though the trees are, at this point, mere saplings, as they mature, they will help to absorb the sound coming from the Expressway.

The project, which is expected to be complete by mid-December, weather permitting, was made possible by $250,000 Liu had previously allocated. 

The senator said that would not have been possible without Braunstein, his colleague in the Assembly.

“Just standing here, you could see how close the windows are, and how frustrating it must be for the residents over here to hear this noise day in and day out,” Braunstein said, gesturing to the homes just 10-odd yards behind him. 

“This is great news for the community and will greatly improve people’s quality of life, and I hope that those trees grow soon.”

According to Liu’s office, the trees  — which include eastern red cedar, mountain laurel, American holly and viburnum trees — will grow between 10 and 15 feet over five to 10 years.

Now a board member instead of president of the civic, Kamen seemed optimistic about the development. 

“As you can all hear and see — it’s just really impossible many nights, as far as the traffic goes,” he said. “But these trees are going to make a difference.”