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Astoria air quality monitoring devices set up under RFK Bridge as part of overcoat paint work

Air quality monitoring device located on the corner of 23rd Street and Hoyt Avenue S. (Photo by Julia Moro)

May 25, 2023 By Julia Moro

If you’ve walked around Astoria Park or along Hoyt Avenue North and South recently, you may have seen large air monitoring devices set up on the street. But don’t fret, as these gadgets are monitoring the air quality in the vicinity of a construction site, ensuring compliance with environmental protection regulations, according to the MTA.

More air monitoring devices were seen in Astoria Park under the bridge and on the corner of 21st Street and Astoria Park South. (Photo by Julia Moro)

These devices belong to a painting contractor performing the overcoat paintwork at the Queens approach of the RFK Bridge, according to an MTA spokesperson. This project was awarded to Commodore Maintenance in October of 2022 and is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2023.

According to an MTA spokesperson, the scope of the project includes the overcoat painting of the RFK Bridge viaduct approach steel and concrete structures in Queens from 26th Street to the Queens Anchorage located at approximately 19th Street. The overcoat painting of the steel and coating of the concrete piers will protect the structure from corrosion and maintain the viaduct in a state of good repair.

The air quality monitoring devices belong to the contractor, but are operated by Environmental Planning and Management, an independent environmental consultant, hired by the MTA.

The air is currently being monitored for lead, total suspended particles and particulate matter less than 10 microns. According to the MTA spokesperson, all results are well below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

The spokesperson also assured there are minimal impacts to traffic associated with this work as the contractor has erected a temporary shield under the roadway to provide safe access to work crews.

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