Thousands of feet in new sewer line and water mains were installed under the streets of Flushing in a recently completed, $71 million reconstruction project.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced on March 28 that crews wrapped up six years of work in installing more than 7,700 linear feet of storm sewers under the northbound Whitestone Expressway service road between 25th Avenue and Flushing Creek, along with portions of adjoining streets. DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said this would go a long way toward improving drainage in Flushing and nearby Whitestone and College Point.
The city also replaced more than 8,000 linear feet of ductile iron water pipes to improve water distribution in the area; installed 22 new fire hydrants; and 1,800 linear feet of sanitary sewers. When the dirty work was completed, crews then beautified the area by repaving all affected roadways and installing new curbs, sidewalks, pedestrian ramps, streetlights, traffic signals and 166 new street trees.
“This $71 million investment in Flushing will significantly upgrade the sewer system, improve drainage, reduce flooding, and provide a reliable supply of water,” Sapienza said. “We thank DDC (the Department of Design and Construction) for their efforts in managing this project, and the next phases to come, as we work together to strengthen this neighborhood’s infrastructure and make all of New York City more resilient.”
Local elected officials, including state Senator Tony Avella, Assemblyman Ron Kim, City Councilman Peter Koo and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz all hailed the project’s completion.
The project was the first of three phases of major reconstruction in the Flushing area designed to improve drainage and water circulation around the community. The second phase begins later this year and will focus on improvements along local streets in an area generally bounded by Parsons Boulevard on the west, 20th Road on the north, 147th Street on the east and 29th Avenue on the south. Willets Point Boulevard between Parsons Boulevard and 149th Street is included in the work area.
The final phase, which is expected to get underway in 2020, focuses on streets in an area of Flushing and Whitestone generally bounded by the Cross Island Parkway on the north; 147th Street, 15th Avenue and 145th Place on the east; 21st Avenue on the south; and the Whitestone Expressway service road on the west. The remaining phases are expected to cost $120 million.