The city has completed phase one of Broad Channel’s extreme makeover.
The ambitious $46 million project raised streets and added nearly half a mile of new storm sewers to reduce flooding in an area that is frequently inundated by Jamaica Bay during high tide and storms.
“This is a unique part of Queens that is highly vulnerable to flooding because of climate change and rising sea levels, and the city went above and beyond to not just add storm sewers but also to raise the streets,” Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Lorraine Grillo said. “We look forward to working with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation to bring these improvements to other parts of Broad Channel.”
Phase two of the work, a $67.7 million project that will affect an even larger adjacent area, began this summer and is anticipated to be completed by summer 2024.
“The residents and businesses of Broad Channel have a special relationship with the natural world and Jamaica Bay in particular,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said. “These New Yorkers are on the front lines of our changing climate and we were so pleased to join with our partner agencies to bring them some real relief with raised roadways and new catch basins, sewers and outfalls to drain the water from the roadways and away from their properties.”
West 11th Road, West 12th Road and West 13th Road from Cross Bay Boulevard west to the waterline were all rebuilt from the ground up during the project on more than 40,000 feet of piles driven 50 feet or more into the ground. The new streets are approximately two feet higher than before and now have 2,300 feet of new storm sewers with nine new catch basins, plus new bulkheads and outfalls that were added at the end of each street to allow stormwater to drain into the bay.
“As we all know, this is an area that was hard-hit by Sandy, and this massive street raising initiative will help mitigate the flooding in vulnerable areas throughout this community,” Councilman Eric Ulrich said. “I would also like to thank the residents of Broad Channel, who have been extremely patient throughout this entire process. Phase one was a great success, and we look forward to the completion of phase two, which will bring the same improvements to West 14th Road, West 15th Road, West 16th Road and West 17th Road.”
Nearly 2,400 feet of sanitary sewers and 2,400 feet of water mains were replaced to ensure reliable water and sewage service, while nine fire hydrants were replaced to improve fire protection.
“This project, with its new storm sewers and raised streets, will go a long way in protecting this vulnerable community from large storms and flooding, thus improving the living conditions in Broad Channel,” state Senator Joseph Addabbo said.
During the final restoration of the area, 2,500 feet of curbs and sidewalks were rebuilt and four new pedestrian ramps were added at Cross Bay Boulevard to improve safety and ADA accessibility.
“Today we have reached a great milestone for the Broad Channel community, who for years have fought to protect their residents from flooding and water damage from storms and other extreme weather events,” Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato said. “By investing in innovative infrastructure measures now, we are preventing future loss of homes and property, and saving ourselves millions of dollars in the long run. This victory today was only achieved through hard work on a granular level: constant phone calls with all stakeholders, meetings with contractors and individual homeowners, and numerous information sessions led by Dan Mundy Jr. and the Civic Association.”
To manage the needs of residents and businesses during phase two construction, DDC has a full-time Community Construction Liaison assigned to the project. Anna Killion keeps the neighborhood apprised of construction progress, coordinates street closures and utility shut-offs, and can arrange special requests such as deliveries to local homes and businesses. Killion works on-site and can be reached at 347-374-0930 or by email at Killionan@ddc.nyc.