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City Asked to Upgrade Sidewalks and Lights Ahead of New York Wheel Opening

By Nicholas Rizzi | October 15, 2014 12:00pm
 The New York Wheel will be the world's largest Ferris wheel when it's built on Staten Island.
The New York Wheel will be the world's largest Ferris wheel when it's built on Staten Island.
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New York Wheel

WESTERLEIGH — Staten Island's Community Board 1 approved a host of major improvements ahead of an expected tourism boom stemming from the New York Wheel, including sidewalk repairs, new streetlights and transportation upgrades.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday to pass a budget that asks the city to make the improvements before the Ferris wheel arrives in three years. The city will be asked to pay for some of the projects.

"We're trying to look ahead to when that ribbon-cutting occurs, so that we capture the attention of tourists and other city dwellers," Community Board 1 chair Leticia Remauro previously said.

"We want to be ahead of the curve. We don't want to be reactionary. If we don't plan for it then we're going to be waiting for years and you only get one chance to make a good impression."

The New York Wheel will be the largest Ferris wheel in the world when it opens. An outlet mall, Empire Outlets, is set to be built adjacent to the New York Wheel.

The budget request asks the city to install and widen 1.8 miles of sidewalk on the waterfront side of Richmond Terrace between the St. George Ferry Terminal and Snug Harbor Cultural Center.

It also asks for $1 million to install lamps along several streets in St. George and Stapleton where there are none, and $150,000 for traffic lights and left-turn signals at several busy intersections.

The request also calls on the city's Economic Development Corporation to fund a study on the North Shore Greenway, which would link New Brighton to South Beach on the waterfront.

A community board's budget serves as its annual list of priorities for the year. Once passed, it's presented to the city as a way of recommending priorities in the next citywide budget.