DOT barriers bring Surf City to Co-op City

The painted barriers on Bartow Avenue put up after the road was recently repaved may seem a bit out of place, but city officials said they will be replaced in the near future.
Community News Group/Arthur Cusano

Tiny surfers on a sea blue background are painted on Jersey barriers that line the center median of Bartow Avenue as it runs into Hutchinson Parkway East, that would look better fitted for the Rockaways.

However, those barriers are instead lining one of the main thoroughfares of Co-op City, in an area not known for its breaking waves.

To make matters worse, the long-awaited steel-reinforced replacement barriers appear to be as worn as the ones they replaced.

There is already evidence of chunks of crumbling concrete falling off the recently installed barriers.

The stretch of roadway, known as ‘killer curve’, due to its extreme serpentine bend, requires drivers to severely drop their speed or slam into the concrete dividers.

The deteriorating barriers have left Co-op City residents perplexed since the road was milled and repaved by NYC Department of Transportation late last year.

The Jersey barriers, also known as New Jersey walls, will be repainted in the coming months, according to the DOT, but area officials are demanding more.

Councilman Andy King, said the previous barriers were damaged to the point that he requested they be replaced. But King said the condition of the replacements is not much better.

“It looks like (DOT) took them from Coney Island,” he said, making reference to the miss-matched beach-like motifs painted on the barriers.

King said he would be speaking with the DOT on Thursday, January 12 about the fate of the barriers.

Community Board 10 chairman Martin Prince said the barriers, which were salvaged from parts of Queens significantly impacted by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, were actually a slight improvement from the barriers that were there previously.

“Th(e older barriers) were crumbling even worse,” Prince said.

Prince said he would discuss the issue with the DOT at the board’s District Service Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, January 17.

Prince said there were no plans in the forseeable future to upgrade the barriers.

But he said NYS Department of Transportation was adding a northbound Hutchinson River Parkway exit in the vicinity of the curve over the next few years and he hoped a better traffic dividing wall would be installed at that time.

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 742–4584. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @arthurcusano.

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