By Mark Hallum
The city Dept. of Environmental Protection announced a $12.7 million project to bring better storm sewer management to Glen Oaks is nearly complete to help the community manage water runoff from rain.
Up to 4,600 feet of new storm sewers have been installed in an 11-block section of the neighborhood mostly comprised of co-ops and condos and will redirect water from Royal Ranch through Glen Oaks and into Little Neck Parkway.
“The hills and valleys of the Glen Oaks neighborhood presented a rather unique engineering challenge and our team partnered with DDC to develop a drainage plan that we are confident will help to better manage stormwater, reduce flooding and make the roadways safer for everyone,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “We are excited that the final work, roadway resurfacing, will be completed in the coming weeks and residents will be able to enjoy an improved quality of life.”
Bob Friedrich is the president of Glen Oaks Village, one of the largest co-op developments in the city with about 10,000 residents in 3,000 units covering 125 acres, according to DEP.
“We are at the bottom of the highest point in Queens so water really does have a tendency to rush through this community and create all kinds of problems,” said Friedrich. “After a big rain event we would have debris in the street we’d have to clean up. But I’ve seen the improvements. In the areas this project affects the flooding is gone. Years ago we used dye to track where the water lowed down the hill, and a lot of that water is now captured.”
State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), who has long opposed alternative methods for stormwater runoff such as bioswales, praised the effort of the city agencies to address the problem with improved infrastructure.
“Homeowners in this community have expended substantial time and resources over the years trying to contain the damage done by flooding,” Avella said. “It’s a great relief to know that their concerns have been addressed.”
The project brought 58 new catch basins to the area along with resurfaced roads and storm sewer pipes from 3.5- to 4-feet in width.
“In 2013, I wrote to DEP and DDC requesting that they address the flooding problem that has had a detrimental impact on the Glen Oaks area,” state Assemblyman Edward Braunstein (D-Bayside) said. “I am thankful to both agencies for completing this project, which will bring much needed storm sewers and catch basins to both Glen Oaks and Royal Ranch.”
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall