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Juniper Valley Park construction set to begin again ‘in the coming weeks’

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QNS file photo

Construction at Juniper Valley Park is expected to resume in the upcoming weeks after work was delayed last summer, according to the city Parks Department.

The $5.25 million project was put on hold in August of 2021 after inspections during construction showed that segments of the storm drainage system needed to be replaced.

“The contractor is hard at work behind the scenes obtaining permits to address unforeseen drainage infrastructure issues,” said Megan Moriarty, a press officer for the Parks Department. “On-site work is expected to resume in the coming weeks.”

According to the Parks Department, the project will not increase in cost. The contractor, Applied Landscape Technologies, is in the process of obtaining permits from the Department of Transportation, Department of Buildings and the Department of Environmental Protection to start working on the drainage system.

“We look forward to renovating the track and field in Juniper Valley Park and providing the community with a new running track, synthetic turf field, adult fitness area and more,” Moriarty said. 

Construction was meant to be completed in the spring of this year, according to the NYC Parks website. Gary Giordano, the district manager of Community Board 5, said that though the Parks Department does great work, this is not the first time drainage issues have come up during a capital parks project.

“They do a good job when it comes to reconstructing areas of the park as far as play equipment and proper safety surfacing,” Giordano said. “But, when it comes to drainage and water issues, I see that as their weak point. This is not the first recent park project where drainage was a problem.”

Plan for Juniper Valley Park reconstruction (Photo courtesy of NYC Parks)

Councilman Robert Holden also criticized Parks, saying the department has “botched every single project at Juniper Valley Park.”

“There is technology available that could avoid delays like this, but Parks does not do their homework before bidding the projects out and I’m sick of it,” Holden said. “Problems like this drive up the cost and the amount of time. Sometimes a park or a section of a park is closed for months or longer, denying residents the use of it. I’m hopeful that it will get better under the new commissioner. As usual, getting something done with the city is no walk in the park.”

Giordano mentioned that reconstruction at Frank Principe Park and Rosemary’s Playground also had drainage and water issues. At Rosemary’s Playground, Giordano said that to his knowledge drainage issues arose after NYC Parks’ construction. 

“Here I am writing to Parks about extensive ponding on the playground area that was just recently reconstructed,” Giordano said. “So, the question becomes: why, with a several million dollar parks projects, do we have this big ponding condition?”

With Giordano’s observations of previous park projects in his district, he admitted that he is nervous about the outcome of Juniper’s construction.

Moriarty said that Parks is committed to completing capital projects on time though unforeseen conditions do arise. 

“While we always conduct site investigations when preparing a design, in this instance the unforeseen field conditions uncovered during construction have required a re-design of the storm drainage system,” Moriarty said. “We are doing everything we can to quickly complete construction and reopen this renovated amenity to the community.”

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