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MTA Plans to Clear Dangerous Lead Paint From 7 Line After Years of Neglect

Roosevelt Ave/74 St Station
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Roosevelt Ave/74 St Station The All-Nite Images/ flickr

The elevated 7 line has been shedding hazardous lead paint chips to the streets and sidewalks of Queens for years. In a report released back in December, the District 9 International Union of Painters and Allied Trades found that "paint falling from the elevated 7 train contained more than 40 times the legal threshold of lead paint." But the rain of lead my finally be coming to an end.

Speaking to reporters in front of the Roosevelt Ave 74th Street Station in Queens on Tuesday, NYC Transit Authority president Andy Byford discussed the MTA plan to remove the flaking lead paint from the 7 line and repaint it. The paint job will start at 82nd Street and go to Citi Field; it's expected to take two years to complete and cost $43 million. Byford said that the areas with lead paint will be stripped down to the metal, and then specialists will apply three coats of paint, according to the Sunnyside Post.

“The trestle is in really bad shape,” City Councilman Daniel Dromm told CBS2. “I’m surprised that it hasn’t fallen down yet. It’s rusted. Paint is falling down off of it.” DNAinfo reported last year that, according to Dromm, the trestle had not been painted in 35 years.The MTA disputed that number, but did not provide a date of when it was last painted.

Dromm said that he has been calling for these stations to be repainted for years, and the MTA told him it would be done in 2015 or 2016. In May of 2017, Queens residents sued the MTA over the paint chips that shower the streets below.

“In my area, we have a lot of food vendors underneath the Number 7 Line, and I’m sure that pieces of lead paint are falling into the food that they’re serving,” Dromm told CBS 2.

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