On April 1, 2022, the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) announced the start of a new drainage upgrade project in Westerleigh, Staten Island.
The project will occur over fourteen blocks along Forest Avenue from Crystal Avenue to Barrett Avenue and North Avenue from Livermore Avenue to the dead end, as well as portions of Livermore Avenue, Dickie Avenue, Bidwell Avenue, Neal Dow Avenue and Lockwood Place.
Twelve new catch basins will be installed to capture stormwater, and 1,500 linear feet of new storm sewers will help alleviate flooding. Over 3,500 feet of water mains will be replaced with concrete-lined ductile iron, which is less prone to breakage than the previously used cast iron pipes. Twelve fire hydrants and 1,100 linear feet of sanitary sewers will also be replaced.
To finish the project, 80,000 square feet of roadway, 2,000 square feet of sidewalk and 400 linear feet of curbs will be replaced. These features will be designed to better guide stormwater to the new catch basins. Five new pedestrian ramps and seven replaced ramps will help ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The $6.9 million drainage project will be funded by DEP, while DDC will manage the construction. The project is expected to be completed by winter 2023.
Both agencies have worked on similar flooding resiliency projects in the past few years in areas of southeast Queens, which is prone to flooding like many parts of Staten Island.
DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley stated, “This project will bring a new peace of mind to residents who’ve dealt with long-time flooding and ponding in the area. The neighborhood will receive 1,500 feet of new storm sewers, rebuilt and regraded streets along with new curbs and catch basins to capture stormwater when it rains. We are pleased to work with our partners at DEP to bring new infrastructure that will improve the quality of life for the residents and business owners of Westerleigh.”
DEP Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala stated, “Shovels are in the ground in Westerleigh and that means we are one step closer to an upgraded drainage system for the residents and businesses in the area. This $7 million investment will greatly improve the quality of life in the neighborhood, and I want to thank our partners at DDC for managing this important work.”
Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella stated, “This upgrade for the Westerleigh neighborhood will provide relief to residents who need adequate street drainage in order to feel safe during a major storm. This area, like many on Staten Island, has historically seen the impact of flooding which damages properties and lives. I want to thank DEP Commissioner Aggarwala and DDC Commissioner Foley for their efforts to install new storm sewers and catch basins that will help protect this community.”
By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)