Today’s news:

M train platforms due for face-lifts, CB 5 officials say

Community Board 5 gave updates on a number of rehabilitation projects throughout the area last week, including reconstruction of the Cooper Avenue underpass, the Metropolitan Avenue bridge at Fresh Pond Road and a number of platforms along the M train line.

Gary Giordano, district manager for CB 5, said the underpass at Cooper Avenue needs its retaining wall rehabilitated. In addition, the project will also rebuild the roadway and install new sidewalks and curbing. The project will not start until 2011 and will cost an estimated $7 million.

Vincent Arcuri Jr., chairman of the board, said the board only has the schematics at this point and wants to see preliminary plans for this project.

Giordano said the Metropolitan Avenue bridge at Fresh Pond Road over the Long Island Rail Road tracks has structural integrity problems. He could not say what the problems specifically were, but on Oct. 24, 2008, the state inspected the bridge and gave it a rating of 3.762, out of a scale of 0 to 7 with 0 being the lowest. But work will most likely not be done on the bridge until fiscal year 2014.

Arcuri said this was unfortunate since the bridge is in poor condition.

Many platforms along the M train will be rehabilitated soon, Giordano said. Except for Wyckoff Avenue, which had a train station reconstruction a few years ago, all the platforms will be at least partly rehabilitated. The work will start in July and result in service diversions from July to October on numerous weekends. Giordano is also requesting that the station at Seneca Avenue undergo structural re-work.

He characterized the Seneca Avenue station as the “worst in the city.”

Giordano also listed some sections of streets to undergo resurfacing. These included Flushing Avenue from 56th Street to Woodward Avenue, Elliot Avenue from 67th Street to Woodhaven Avenue, the north side on Juniper Boulevard and potentially some work on the underpass of Cooper Avenue next March. Some work will also be done to improve safety in the vicinity of St. Matthias School. Bump outs - when part of the sidewalk is expanded into the street as a traffic calming measure - will be installed, catch basins will be relocated and crosswalks will be created. This project is part of a larger one that encompasses safety improvements at 12 schools. It will cost $8 million overall and begin in fiscal year 2011.

Other projects include the repair of the retaining wall of Jackie Robinson Parkway and the installation of a sewer line to prevent floods on Metropolitan Avenue 150 to 200 feet west of Cooper Avenue.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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