Sept. 24, 2021 By Allie Griffin
The city has completed a $17.3 million upgrade of the sewers and roadways in a 10-block section of Rosedale, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday.
The infrastructure upgrades aim to prevent flooding in the vicinity of Hook Creek Boulevard and 256th Street, which has been an ongoing problem. The work was completed two months ahead of schedule.
“As extreme climate events become more frequent, infrastructure investments in our roads and sewers only become more critical,” de Blasio said. “The completion of this project will not only improve Rosedale’s street conditions and alleviate flooding, it will also ensure safer and more resilient streets for years to come.”
The upgrades are part of a larger $2.2 billion investment by the city to build a comprehensive drainage system, improve street conditions and alleviate flooding in southeast Queens. Area residents have faced chronic flooding during heavy rainfalls and two Jamaica residents died earlier this month when rainwater from the remnants of Hurricane Ida rushed into their basement-level home.
“For as long as I can remember, Southeast Queens has had issues with flooding and rising groundwater,” Assembly Member Alicia Hyndman said. “It’s therefore important the City’s agencies such as DEP and DDC undertake projects such as this which would help address the issue in our neighborhoods.”
The upgrades included the replacement of water mains, pipes, fire hydrants, storm sewers, catch basins and sanitary sewers. The new infrastructure is designed to guide stormwater into the newly installed sewers to stop the streets from flooding.
The project was part of a multi-agency effort with teams from the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Transportation and Department of Design and Construction working on it.
Workers replaced more than one mile of water mains — some of which was installed before World War II — with new pipes ranging from eight to 12 inches in diameter. They replaced 15 fire hydrants and added four more.
Crews also added 2,780 feet of new storm sewers, 35 new catch basins plus nine replacement catch basins, nearly 700 feet of sanitary sewers — 440 feet of which replaced old sewers — and two new underground sewer chambers.
Once the underground construction was completed, workers laid down 17,570 square yards of new asphalt over a new concrete base to restore the roadways and installed 43,775 square feet of new sidewalk and 8,775 feet of new curbs. They also replaced 39 pedestrian ramps and added 10 new ADA-compliant ones.
Lastly, crews planted 57 new trees after removing 27 old trees.
The Rosedale project is one of 43 projects included in the $2.2 billion investment. Of the 43, 16 are substantially completed, five projects are currently underway and 11 are in the design phase.
Local leaders like Hyndman and State Sen. James Sanders Jr. said the city must continue to complete the projects.
“I am glad the city is taking this seriously and making strides to help homeowners and businesses who suffer constant damage as a result of rising water, however, more needs to be done and I would like to see continued efforts by this administration to help all neighborhoods that are experiencing this issue,” Sanders said in a statement.
Hyndman echoed his sentiments.
“Although this is a great step in the right direction, a lot more needs to be done to ensure our neighborhoods, including homeowners and businesses who constantly have to deal with damages as a result of flooding are well taken care of,” she said.