THE BRONX - Construction tied to the St. James Park remodeling effort has made the area an eyesore for years. But with one aspect of the project recently completed, residents say they are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The reason for hope is the park?s new comfort station, which was given an exterior facelift, new windows, accessible ramps and bathroom redo.

Now that they are seeing some improvements, residents say they want to make sure the park will be a safe haven for neighborhood kids and not for gangs.

A new playground and more recreational facilities are being constructed, with an emphasis on preserving the park?s greenery.

The Parks Department says the reconstruction should be completed by next September. Money for the $4.5 million project comes from a mitigation fund from the construction of the Croton Filtration Plant.