By Nathan Duke
A city project that would halt flooding in Bayside and filter sewer overflow in Douglaston as well as upgrading grasslands along Northern Boulevard will be completed by November 2010, a spokeswoman for the city Department of Environmental Protection said this week.
The first phase of the project, which was completed in 2007, was aimed at preventing flooding in Bayside Hills. Storm drain lines were installed at a number of sites, including Springfield Boulevard and 46th Avenue as well as areas near the Cross Island Parkway and Queensborough Community College.
The project’s second phase, which will be finished in November, is located on a huge lot along Northern Boulevard in Douglaston. The lot, near the Alley Pond Environmental Center, is the site of an old pumping station. Sewer overflow and stormwater are to be held in a large tank at the site before being filtered and directed back to a water treatment plant.
“It’s something we should be proud of,” Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece said of the project at the board’s monthly meeting this week. “It’s a project we got for Bayside.”
Iannece said the cost of the project is estimated at anywhere between $125 million and $150 million.
A third phase of the project will include restoring grasslands and indigenous plants along Northern Boulevard that have been removed during the project’s construction. That phase, which also entails the cleaning of five locations around Oakland Lake and improving its catch basins, will be completed in November.
DEP spokeswoman Mercedes Padilla said the agency is restoring 10 acres of wetland in the project’s vicinity.
“A lot of things are finishing up here and there,” she said. “It’s expected to be online in December 2010. We are still in stage two for the storage facility being constructed out there and the environmental upgrade of Alley Pond.”
The environmental review for the project, which was overseen by the DEP, began eight years ago and construction started in 2003.
Susan Seinfeld, CB 11’s district manager, said the DEP will soon undertake another northeast Queens project in which they will place a regulator and flow monitoring station at 220th Place and 46th Avenue. This project will help prevent street flooding.
“The system is important because the failure of any part of the collective system has serious consequences to public health,” she said.
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.