Torn up streets. Massive potholes. Sidewalks riddled with fissures and homes with visible cracks. These are the side effects of a major sewer project on the Maspeth/Woodside border that, according to City Comptroller Scott Stringer, makes the area look “like a war zone.”
Stringer made the claim after touring the Calamus Avenue site on Wednesday, July 12, at the behest of local elected officials Assemblyman Brian Barnwell and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, who wanted the comptroller to personally see what their constituents have been dealing with for years.
“They wanted me to come out and see firsthand the issues facing the community,” Stringer told QNS in a phone interview on Monday afternoon. “The place looked like a war zone. It was all very concerning to me.”
Back in February, residents of Maspeth and Woodside filled the parish hall of St. Mary’s of Winfield to sound off on the problems they have been facing during the span of this $25 million project that will increase the sewer capacity in the area to take on added stormwater and reduce flooding in the neighborhoods during periods of intense rainfall.
At the meeting residents complained of the delays in moving the project forward, the lack of communication between city agencies and the community, the detouring of the Q47 bus, and damages to their homes due to construction related to the project.
During his tour, residents brought Stringer around to their homes, pointing out some of the damages they have suffered.
“People showed me cracks in sidewalks, as well as damages inside their homes,” Stringer said. “[There were] cracks in staircases. Gates were removed and seniors had to deal with fences on their property. The roads are ripped apart. It is not safe for seniors or children. I wanted to see it for myself.”
Stringer has said his office is working with the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and the contractor for the project CAC Industries to alleviate residents’ issues and to get the damages repaired.
According to Stringer, CAC Industries is responsible for repairing the damages caused during construction at no cost to the homeowner. He and his office will be keeping “a close eye” on DDC and CAC Industries to make sure that they are held responsible for the damage they created, that timelines on when damages will be repaired are established, and community questions are answered.
The comptroller will also be working closely with Crowley and Barnwell to make sure everything is running smoothly.