A community task force created at the request of Robert F. Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association, has yielded results. The New York State Department of Transportation, in an attempt to reduce noise created by the expressway's concrete roadbed, hired subcontractors to work on the problem. The roadbed is now undergoing a new process called “Diamond Grinding.” According to the State D.O.T., it should reduce noise levels by 5-6 decibels. Since the concrete roadbed was installed on the LIE in Maspeth and Elmhurst over 3 years ago, noise levels have reached deafening levels and can be heard as far as a mile away. Residents living near the expressway, especially on the southside where there are no soundbarriers, have complained of unhealthy noise levels. Last year the State DOT conducted sound studies from 69th Street to 75th Street in Maspeth and the results confirmed that the noise levels were well above acceptable limits.

If the Diamond Grinding works, the decibel levels should be more tolerable. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees. If the sound is not reduced to an acceptable level, the civic association will ask for a return to the quieter asphalt roadbed.

Additionally, at the request of the Juniper Park Civic Association and Community Board 5, sound barriers will be installed from 69th Street to 74th Street on the southside. The task force has selected a more pleasing soundbarrier design instead of the drab concrete barriers that currently are in place. It is estimated that the new sound barriers will be installed within 6 months.

There will also be hundreds of additional tree and shrub plantings along the expressway to reduce noise and pollution.

The task force, has been meeting for several months in Assemblywoman Marge Markey’s office with representatives of elected officials, Community Board 5, Queens Borough Hall, the Juniper Park Civic Association, Maspeth Chamber of Commerce and officials from the State Department of Transportation representatives of the State DOT; Roe Yacavone representing Senator Serphin Maltese, Juniper Park Civic president and Vice Chair of Community Board 5, Bob Holden; Community Board 5 Environmental Committee Chair- Tony Nunziato, and Marianne Zero, Maspeth Chamber of Commerce.