Ten years ago this coming August, Queens was hit with a severe thunderstorm that dumped a heavy amount of rain in a short span of time, leaving many low-lying parts of Middle Village dealing with nasty sewer backups.
The floods that the Aug. 8, 2007, storm caused led many Middle Village residents and Community Board 5 to demand that the city upgrade the local sewer system. It would, however, take nine years — and a few more post-storm floods — before the city finally broke ground last May on the long-desired improvements that are now well underway in the heart of the residential neighborhood.
To date, according to a Department of Design and Construction (DDC) newsletter that QNS obtained, crews have already installed nine water mains measuring between 8 and 12 inches in diameter beneath streets zigzagging through the area just to the south of Juniper Valley Park.
Workers have also installed three larger combined sewer mains beneath Juniper Valley Road. One measures 15 inches in diameter now lies below the road at 77th Street. It connects to an 18-inch sewer line below Juniper Valley Road between Gray and 77th streets, which subsequently links to a 30-inch sewer below Juniper Valley Road between 75th Place and Gray Street.
Crews are now focusing on installing new sewer lines, water mains and catch basins along other streets in the work area, including Penelope Avenue between 71st and 75th streets — one of the areas of Middle Village hardest hit by flash floods over the last decade.
Similar improvements are being made on these other blocks:
- 74th Street between Juniper Boulevard South and Penelope Avenue;
- 75th Street between Juniper Valley Road and 66th Drive;
- 77th Street between 66th Drive and Gray Street;
- Gray Street between 66th Drive and Juniper Valley Road; and
- the intersection of 77th Street and 66th Road.
As work on the $22 million project continues, Middle Villagers can expect to deal with the same parking and lane restrictions on these streets that they’ve been coping with since the project’s start last year.
Residents who have questions about the project can contact the DDC’s liaison, Lisbeth Lora, at 718-326-3840 or email penelopeaveccl[@]gmail.com.