By Juan Soto
The recurring image of Laurelton streets flooded after heavy rainstorms discharge their rage will soon be an image of the past.
The city began an $18 million project to increase sewer capacity that would reduce flooding in the affected area. The city Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Design and Construction sent workers to execute a plan that includes the installation of about four miles of sewer lines and 142 new catch basis. The work will increase drainage capacity.
While work is being done and the roadway is open, the agencies will install three miles of new water mains to replace the old ones.
The project in Laurelton “will help to better drain precipitation from the roadways, reduce localized flooding and protect the homes and property of neighborhood residents,” said Emily Lloyd, DEP commissioner, who described the work in the southeast Queens community as “a priority.”
The city agencies will also construct more than 12,000 feet of storm sewers that will collect the precipitation that drains through the catch basins on the streets. In addition, the construction will put into place a 17,700-foot new ductile iron distribution water mains. The new mains will improve the quality and pressure of the water.
“This project should bring significant relief to homeowners and businesses that have been coping with persistent flooding,” Feniosky Peña-Mora, DDC commissioner, said.
During heavy rainstorms, sewers in Laurelton overflow.
The work is being done along a stretch on Brookville and Hook Creek boulevards, and between 241st and 244th streets and 134th and 131st avenues.
A similar project is being completed in Bayside, where the city agencies are installing 7,000-foot trunk water mains with a 48-inch diameter, 13,000-feet distribution mains and 657 sewer pipes.
“Neighborhoods throughout southeast Queens have long been subjected to flooded streets and excessive ponding whenever it rained,” said City Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton). For Richards, the installation of the sewer infrastructure in Laurelton is “welcome news.”
“The persistent flooding in Laurelton has had a significant negative impact on the neighborhood’s quality of life for far too long,” said Melinda Katz, the Queens borough president. She added the project will expand Laurelton’s sewer capacity and will provide “residents with much needed relief from the property damage, inconvenience and safety risk that flooding can bring.”