Nov. 9, 2017 By Tara Law
The bathrooms at a popular playground in Astoria Park will not reopen until 2020, a year later than anticipated, and after being out of service since 2015.
The bathrooms at Charybdis Playground closed two years ago after the Parks Dept. discovered that waste from the bathrooms and the Astoria Pool had been flowing into the East River for decades due to plumbing problems and issues with the sewerage line.
Meghan Lalor, a spokeswoman with the Parks Dept., said a new sewer line is being installed that will be completed by the end of 2018.
But the Parks Dept. is not reopening the bathrooms once the sewage system has been replaced since it has plans to upgrade the rundown restrooms in 2019, as part of a $14.5 million upgrade to the entire playground under the city’s Anchor Parks program.
That program has provided $30 million toward the upgrade of Astoria Park, with phase one going toward overhauling the running track and building a new soccer field, and phase two toward the playground.
The playground design is expected to be completed by spring 2018, with construction planned for spring 2019. Both the playground and the bathroom renovations are slated to be completed by 2020.
Residents have been calling for the bathrooms to be reopened for some time, with a Change.org petition launched in 2016 drawing more than 600 signatures. The petition optimistically called for the bathrooms to be reopened that year.
In the meantime, the Parks Dept. will continue to provide porta potties near the playground during summer. Additional bathrooms are available year-round at the Astoria Park Field House near Astoria Park South and 18th Street.