The community spoke, and the city listened.
After a contentious town hall meeting last month where residents of Maspeth and Woodside fumed against city agencies for the years of delays and problems associated with the $25 million Calamus Avenue Sewer Project, the city’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) has agreed to expedite the construction process, effectively moving up the expected completion date by five months.
The Calamus Avenue Sewer Project aims to increase the sewer capacity to handle increased stormwater and reduce flooding in the neighborhoods — which have had issues with flooding after major storms in recent years.
Representatives previously said that the project, which has caused myriad problems for residents near the construction sites and has detoured the Q47 bus route for nearly three years, would be complete by May 2018 — a date that the communities and local elected officials said was unacceptable.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley met with DDC officials shortly after the meeting, and announced that the city agency has agreed to increase construction crews’ working hours to speed up the work, creating a new expected completion date of Dec. 28, 2017.
“For years, the Calamus Avenue Sewer Project altered lives around Maspeth, but I am encouraged that with this announcement will also come some peace for residents and a return to normalcy,” Crowley said. “Residents should not have to deal with blocked driveways, navigating around potholes or looking at the ground while they walk so they won’t trip — especially for years on end.”
The new plan will now have construction crews work six days a week, Monday through Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Once the project is finished, the Q47 will return to its original route.
“It is encouraging news that the projected date for the completion of the Calamus Avenue project has been moved up to address ongoing community concerns,” said Assemblyman Brian Barnwell. “The people of the community deserve the project completed as soon as possible.”
“This project has already extended well beyond schedule and it is inexcusable that the DDC continue to cause problems on residents’ daily lives,” added state Senator Joseph Addabbo. “I am glad that after hearing the residents the city agency will extend weekday work hours in order to complete the project by December, as pushing the date back to May 2018 would be utterly unacceptable for those who have been dealing with the project already for three years.”