The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) recently released its fourth quarter report concerning the progress of a Bayside infrastructure project.
DDC’s contractor CAC Industries broke ground on QED991 in March 2018. According to the agency, the purpose of the $62.5 million project is to install new 8-, 12-, 20-, 48- and 72-inch water mains to improve water service distribution and improve fire protection for residents.
As of November 2019, CAC Industries had completed about 35 percent of the multiyear project. To date, the agency reported the following portions of the project as complete:
- Distribution water main installation on 38th Avenue from 216th Street to Francis Lewis Boulevard and Francis Lewis Boulevard from 37th Avenue to Utopia Parkway
- Sanitary and storm sewers on 38th Avenue from 216th Street to 207th Street
- Sewers on 38th Avenue from 206th Street to Francis Lewis Boulevard
- Truck water main installation on 38th Avenue from 216th Street to 207th Street
Currently, the contractors are assigned to several ongoing portions of the project including:
- Storm sewers and connections on 38th Avenue from 213th Street to 207th Street
- Excavation and installation of curbs and sidewalks on 38th Avenue from 216th Street to 207th Street
- Utility relocation on 33rd Avenue from 221st Street to Bell Boulevard (work by Con Edison)
Following the current portions of work, CAC Industries will complete the following portions of QED 991:
- 48-inch trunk water main installation on 38th Avenue from 206th Street (Clearview Expressway) to Francis Lewis Boulevard and 37th Avenue from Francis Lewis Boulevard to Utopia Parkway
- Full roadway restoration throughout the project area starting on 38th Avenue from 216th Street to Bell Boulevard
As the project continues in Bayside, residents have expressed numerous safety and quality of life concerns. These complaints include rough roads with potholes, street closures, lack of parking and increased levels of dust and noise.
DDC estimates that they will finish the entire project by summer 2021.
Meanwhile, residents of Underhill Avenue have also voiced complaints concerning QED991. Although their street does not fall under the project’s service area, DDC is currently using Underhill Avenue and 170th Street as the project’s storage facility site.
Back in February 2019, Underhill Avenue residents pushed for the removal of the site at a Community Board 7 meeting. They cited the same quality of life issues as the Bayside residents and said that DDC had not asked for community input before establishing the storage site.
The site, which belongs to the Department of Environmental Protection, operates from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the midst of one and two family homes in the area.
“The goal is to remove them because this is a residential area, it’s a park where people walk their dogs, kids ride their bicycles, it just doesn’t belong,” said resident Bebe Rohani at the February meeting. “A processing site belongs in an industrial site.”
Residents living near the storage site said that the big trucks cause an ear-splitting ruckus and even cause strong vibrations that shake the window panes. Flushing residents also complained about the resulting pollution from the trucks, damages to their homes and contaminated water.
Auburndale Improvement Association
Nine months later, Underhill Avenue residents attended the Auburndale Improvement Association meeting on Nov. 19 to express more concerns to DDC Deputy Commissioner Andrew Hollweck.
Many who attended the meeting were concerned that the Underhill site would become a permanent storage facility for trucks and other construction supplies.
“What guarantee do we have as our neighborhood that this will not be a permanent site? How long is the duration of [the project],” asked one concerned resident.
“I don’t think anyone wants to be a permanent disruption to a neighborhood. A residential neighborhood should not be the home to heavy industrial use for eternity and [DDC] will not permit that, ” Hollweck said.
The DDC deputy commissioner said that he would “talk” to DDC, DEP and CAC Industries about the site and relay the responses to the community.
Hollweck added that the contract DEP has for the storage site could potentially continue into 2022, though work on the infrastructure project is slated to end in 2021.
For questions and concerns about QED991, residents are encouraged to contact the Community Construction Liaison Latisha James at 347-235-0412 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.