By Patrick Donachie
Construction began in earnest this week on a $25 million sewer infrastructure project in Rosedale, one week after Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation to ensure that the city’s Department of Environmental Protection consistently updates southeast Queens communities on construction projects related to flooding.
The mayor allocated $1.7 billion to address the chronic flooding in the area.
“Southeast Queens has been looking for solutions to flooding for decades, but at least now we have a plan,” Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Arverne), who helped secure the mayoral funding, said about the Rosedale construction. “With every new project, we are getting closer to the days where flooding is a concern of the past.”
Many of the roadways along Hook Creek Boulevard lack necessary stormwater infrastructure, including catch basins and storm sewers, according to the DEP. The department will supply the funding needed to complete the project, while construction will be overseen by the Department of Design and Construction.
New sewers and other infrastructure will be constructed along Hook Creek Boulevard between 128th Avenue and Merrick Boulevard, along Brookville Boulevard between 121st Street and 128th Drive and in areas throughout the community where sewer drainage is needed. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of this year, when the city will have installed about 12,000 linear feet of storm sewers, 8,500 linear feet of combined sewers and 140 new catch basins.
Additionally, the DCC will replace more than 2.5 miles of older cast iron pipes. The stormwater collected by these new sewers will be discharged through three outfalls along Brookville Boulevard, according to the DEP. The project is part of a massive sewer infrastructure plan spurred by funding allocated in Mayor de Blasio’s 2015 executive budget. The majority of the funding will be utilized to build large trunk sewer spines along 150th Street, Guy Brewer Boulevard, as well as Springfield and Farmers boulevards.
Legislation co-sponsored by Richards mandating that the DEP regularly update southeast Queens on the state of sewer constructions and improvements made it to the mayor’s desk last week. Communities like Rosedale have faced extensive flooding for decades, with the issue affecting more than 400,000 residents in the area, according to the city’s OneNYC plan, released in 2015. The report found the area has more 311 flooding calls and confirmed sewer backup complaints than anywhere else in the city. Richards said the Rosedale improvements could be a first step toward permanently alleviating the problem.
“The community of Rosedale has suffered through not only Hurricane Sandy, but every rainstorm,” he said, “so I look forward to seeing this $25 million project progress to improve drainage for homeowners who often have to wait for large puddles to evaporate before the waters recede from their street.”
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona