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Progress made on long-awaited sewer upgrades in Maspeth and Woodside, city DDC reports

Apr. 27, 2023 By Elijah Hamilton and Robert Pozarycki

The city’s Department of Design and Construction (DDC) has completed the first stage of its $101 million project to upgrade the sewer infrastructure and water mains along 70th Street in Maspeth.

According to a DDC spokesperson, the project aims to address regular flooding in the area after heavy rain events.

“A majority of the work has been completed on 70th Street, including upgrades to the water mains and sewers,” the spokesperson told QNS. “The upgraded water mains will now be more reliable for the next century, along with the new sewers that will alleviate flooding.”

According to the DDC spokesperson, the next step would be replacing the sewer under the Long Island Rail Road bridge on 69th Street between 47th Avenue and 48th Avenue in nearby Woodside.

“Crews are preparing the work area before moving forward with replacing the sewers,” the spokesperson added.

Residents living in Maspeth have been vocal about the need to upgrade the sewer infrastructure and water mains along 70th Street.

Roe Daraio, president of the Communities of Maspeth & Elmhurst Together (COMET) Civic Association, said the issue has been a “nightmare” for local residents.

“When they started the project, they trenched the whole street,” Daraio said. “People couldn’t park. They were getting sewer breaks into their basements. Their houses were cracking. It was a nightmare.”

Nevertheless, Daraio said she is happy to see that DDC has been making progress.

The DDC expects to complete their work by spring 2024, according to the spokesperson.

The Maspeth and Woodside areas have seen numerous upgrades to sewer and water mains in recent years. Both neighborhoods have low-lying areas that have been regularly flooded during heavy rain events dating as far back as 2007.

In 2018, the DDC moved forward with a massive sewer and water main replacement project in the area, which came on the heels of similar improvements made along Calamus Avenue, which runs on the boundary of both communities.

The projects did not come with complications. Work conducted during the Calamus Avenue project led to damage incurred at nearby homes in 2017. Three years later, a sinkhole swallowed up a vehicle and caused house flooding near the 70th Street work zone.

Gary Giordano, district manager of Community Board 5 (CB5), said that the board pushed for funding for the project along Calamus Avenue.

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