There's new hope for businesses which sit along the aging Lefferts Boulevard bridge in Kew Gardens. The MTA will look at ideas on how to save those businesses. NY1's Gene Apodaca filed the following report.
After months of wondering whether the doors at Thyme Natural Market would be forced to close, owner Nathalie Reid says she’s a bit more optimistic.
“It makes me happier to know that they are willing to talk about this,“ said Reid.
Reid is talking about the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) which confirms it will conduct an engineering feasibility study.
Her store, along with several other businesses, sits on a bridge over Long Island Rail Road tracks on Lefferts Boulevard.
It’s a bridge the MTA says is falling apart.
The study would look at whether it’s possible to keep the businesses in place while the decks underneath are replaced.
The more than 80 year old decks, according to the MTA, are decaying and have simply outlived their intended lives.
“The community needs the stores, it’s very important to the community,“ said resident, Julia Berney.
The study, according to the MTA, would be funded by Council Member Karen Koslowitz, who, three months ago committed to finding an alternative. This, after the agency warned owners their businesses might be torn down once the management company’s lease expired.
Business owner, Muhammed Arif welcomes the change of course.
“It’s a good move, it’s very encouraging because we have been suffering for the last seven years we had so many problems,“ said Arif.
Still, there are many questions. The MTA unable to answer how much the study will cost, nor who will conduct it.
The MTA says it’s unclear at this point whether or not it will solicit bids from engineering companies or use one that’s already pre-approved through the agency.
Business owners acknowledge the study does not guarantee any work would be done. It also doesn’t address the actual roadway, which is owned by the city’s department of transportation.
For Reid, however, it’s at least a step in the right direction.
“At least I know now that I can keep pushing to help this process along and for the rest of the changes that need to be done,“ said Reid.