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Courtesy of Holden's office
Councilman Robert Holden checks out recent flooding on Edsall Avenue with Glendale resident Brian Heinz recently.

For more than 20 years, residents of Edsall Avenue in Glendale have complained to Community Board 5 and multiple city agencies about the flooding that takes place on their street every time it rains, leaving thick mud behind whenever the water receded.

Assemblyman Mike Miller and state Senator Joseph Addabbo toured the area with representatives of the Department of Transportation and the Department of Environmental Protection for the last seven years.

“They couldn’t do nothing, they’d always tell us,” Miller said.

Last March, Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano met the agencies on Edsall Avenue and was told Giordano there is no sewer along the roadway, so there is only one catch basin on the stretch from 73rd Place to 71st Place.

A complete reconstruction of the road would be the best solution, they told Giordano, and that simply resurfacing the roadway would not help.

Board 5 currently has the Edsall Avenue flooding issue ranked ninth on its list of 36 budget requests for the fiscal year 2019. Giordano said that the response received in the mayor’s preliminary budget is that “capital funding restraints, project capacity and citywide priorities preclude this project at this time.”

Shortly after he was elected last year, Councilman Robert Holden joined the effort and visited the site with representatives of the DEP and remained in contact with the agency throughout 2018. Now, the city has come up with a plan, though it will not include a complete reconstruction of Edsall Avenue.

The DEP has agreed to install more catch basins along Edsall Avenue and the DOT will work in conjunction re-paving and re-pitching the road and installing a curb along the fence line that runs along the MTA tracks.

“The flooding on Edsall Avenue has been a burden to local residents for decades, and it is a shame that it was ignored for so long,” Holden said on Feb. 22. “Along with my colleagues in the state Legislature, we have stayed on top of the DOT and DEP to make them aware of the depth of this problem, and I’m happy that they have finally come up with a viable solution.”

No timetable for the project has been set yet. Still, Miller is pleased that it’s finally on the city’s radar.

“Even a little amount of rain would cause flooding, which made it impossible for pedestrians and residents to walk along Edsall Avenue.” Miller said. “We’re very happy the city has come up with a plan, and we’re very happy that the people of Edsall Avenue won’t have to put up with the ponding, the mud and all the mosquitoes that comes with it.”

Addabbo agreed, saying Edsall Avenue need to be fixed as a public safety issue.

“For too long residents of Edsall Avenue in Glendale have suffered from flooding conditions after almost any amount of rainfall,” he said. “Not only does the water collect between 71st Place and 73rd Place, it has nowhere to go, leading to standing water conditions that can be a mosquito and bug breeding ground during the summer months and frozen ice conditions in the winter.”

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