Source: New York 1
While it’s an iconic structure in the area, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Congressman Joseph Crowley, and several other local leaders say lately it’s become an eyesore. “This bridge, the condition it’s in right now, is a blight on the park,” said Marie Torniali, who is the Executive Director of Central Astoria LDC. They’re all calling on Amtrak, which maintains the bridge, to give it a makeover and repaint it for its 100th anniversary.
Crowley and Maloney say it’s widely known as one of the city’s most durable bridges, expected to last more than 1,000 years. Plus, they say it’s the inspiration behind structures across the globe, including the famed Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia. “We can’t have an edifice like this, and a famous bridge like this, and not be up to par,” said George Stamatiades, who is the President of Central Astoria LDC. Community leaders and elected officials it’s particularly important to spruce up the bridge now since Astoria is growing more and more in popularity.
“More people moving in everyday, businesses opening, restaurants, shops, a real infusion of people,” said Rep. Joseph Crowley.The bridge was last painted in 1996. Amtrak says while the paint has faded, it still protects the steel and is preventing the structure from deteriorating and will continue to do so for years. Meantime, those pushing for a fresh paint job say they will continue fighting until Amtrak reconsiders.