BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
Northeast Queens residents could see the alleviation of flooding in their neighborhoods following an announcement by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and of Design and Construction (DDC) that a $71 million infrastructure upgrade project has been completed.
The project consisted of improving roadway drainage and helping to mitigate flooding during heavy rain storms.
“This project represents a major investment in the neighborhood’s infrastructure, reducing combined sewer overflows, addressing street flooding and increasing the resiliency of the local water-delivery system,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “[The] DDC and DEP coordinate closely in every borough to strengthen critical infrastructure and improve the quality of services provided by the city.”
The upgrades include new storm and sanitary sewers, water mains, fire hydrants and catch basins.
Additionally, the city constructed more than 7,700 linear feet of new storm sewers along the northbound Whitestone Expressway Service Road, between 25th Avenue and Flushing Creek; and along portions of 144th Street, Union Street, 25th Road, Farrington Street and Higgins Street.
“Improving drainage and reducing flooding are critical infrastructure needs in Flushing, and I thank the city for working to make sure our community is equipped with these basic necessities,” said Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing). “Flushing and its surrounding communities still have a long way to go until our waterways are able to meet federal standards of cleanliness, and I will continue working with the DEP and every advocate in our community until the day we can make our waterways truly fishable and swimmable.”
The implementation of the 53 catch basins are expected to increase the system’s stormwater storage capacity and alleviate flooding.
In an effort to improve water distribution in the area, more than 8,000 linear feet of new ductile iron water mains were built to replace the older cast iron pipes.
“This project is an example of the quality-of-life improvements that our community needs,” said Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing). “The flooding induced by heavy rainstorms has forced many businesses in the area to temporarily close their doors when they could be serving customers. These infrastructure improvements will benefit the residents and businesses here in Flushing. As the representative of a rapidly developing community, I look forward to more projects that will continue to strengthen our infrastructure.”
Other upgrades include approximately 1,800 linear feet of sanitary sewers, repaved roadways, new curbs, new sidewalks, pedestrian ramps, streetlights and traffic signals. In addition, 166 new trees were planted.
This is only the first phase of a three-phase plan to improve and upgrade the area’s drainage and water- distribution systems.
“The sewers and water mains in Flushing, College Point and Whitestone have been significantly upgraded thanks to this $71 million investment, which will also help alleviate flooding,” said state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside). “I’m happy to see these neighborhoods benefiting from such a large-scale, multiphase infrastructure project and look forward to the relief and improved quality of life it will bring residents.”
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400, ext. 144, firstname.lastname@example.org or @reporter_ariel.