Trustee Claudette Struzik and her granddaughter, Stephanie, stand inside one of the cement sewer pipes being installed at the underpass site.
Trustee Claudette Struzik reports that two major hurdles on the 71st Street underpass project were cleared last month with the construction of two jump spans, which are needed before digging can begin on the actual underpass.
The jump spans are needed for the upper deck, which will carry the train weight when digging the underpass actually begins later this year.
Next up is moving some large underground electrical cables that are too close to a new 60-inch sewer main that will run under the tracks. The electric lines should be moved in the first half of October with digging for the 60-inch sewer set to begin by Oct. 24.
Project engineers said these are the final utility lines that needed to be moved before work could begin on digging out the underpass. Every utility line, cable and sewer in the area needed to be moved before work could begin on the underpass.
The project is taking time but is well worth it, Struzik said. "It will be a big boost for our industrial companies along 71st and 78th avenues," she said.
"The underpass will greatly improve life for local companies including PepsiCo and Signode, which are big supporters of the project that will help them eliminate delays for employees, deliveries and shipments."