By Gabriel Rom
Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth are all about to get a little bit greener.
The city Department of Environmental Protection has released the locations of over 300 long-awaited bioswales and seven Stormwater Green Streets throughout Community Board 5.
Bioswales are large patches of greenery and plantings that have been built into sidewalk curbsides. They tend to be 5 feet deep and from 15 to 20 feet wide. Green Streets are generally much larger structures that are constructed in public streets and plazas. These structures serve to divert at least 3,000 gallons of stormwater runoff away from the nearest catch basins.
Construction began in May.
The bioswales are part of the DEP’s plan to help reduce the levels of combined sewer overflow going into the Newtown Creek. One single bioswale can manage almost 3,000 gallons of water and if the bioswale becomes full, the water is released into the sewer catch basin as it normally would be, just at a lower rate so there is not a rush of water that could flood the sewer system.
“By saturating these areas with as much green infrastructure as feasible, we expect to improve water quality in Newtown creek, East River and Flushing Bay,” Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, director of Community Affairs for DEP, told CB 5 at a meeting in April.
Each curbside garden, which consists of a city tree, flowers and plants on top of 5 feet of soil specially engineered to absorb water naturally, has a large holding tank beneath it. The holding tank will help to retain water during heavy rainstorms, while the plants above use the collected water, reducing the amount of stormwater runoff.
According to the DEP, all 300-plus locations have undergone a detailed design-and-acceptance process to ensure that they comply with the city requirements for pedestrian access and safety, as well as not interfering with the existing utility lines.
The new structures were requested by CB 5 after stretches of road in Glendale and Maspeth were chronically prone to flooding.
Some of the specific bioswale locations within CB 5 include:
58-02 Maspeth Ave., 59-87 Grand Ave. and 58-58 Grand Ave. in Maspeth; 64-29 Woodbine St., 60-52 Gates Ave. and 63-23 Metropolitan Ave. in Ridgewood; and 62-16 Eliot Ave. in Middle Village.
The specific Green Street locations within CB 5, all of which are in Maspeth, are as follows:
53-66 61st St.; 63-27 55th Ave.; 66-36 54th Ave.; and 66-59 Perry Ave.
Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at [email protected]