The project will replace more than 7,000 feet of water mains, some of which were installed before World War II. On August 19, 2019, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) jointly announced the beginning of an infrastructure project in the Hollis and Queens Village neighborhoods of Queens. The project is part of Mayor de Blasio’s $1.9 billion plan to revamp the drainage system and alleviate flooding in southeast Queens.
In order to overhaul the drainage systems in these neighborhoods, 7,190 feet of water mains—some of which were installed prior to World War II—will be replaced and 600 feet of new water mains will be added to the system. The work will encompass twenty blocks and the new pipes will range between six and twenty inches in diameter.
Over 2000 feet of storm sewers will also be added and 1,755 feet of existing storm sewers will be replaced. The new sewers will be twelve inches in diameter, but oval-shaped sewers will be 45 inches wide by 29 inches high. Sixteen new catch basins will be installed to more efficiently catch storm water and direct it into storm sewers. Thirty-five existing catch basins will be increased. Over 6,800 feet of existing sanitary sewer will be replaced and 400 feet of new sanitary sewer will be installed.
Further, eighteen existing fire hydrants will be replaced and four additional hydrants will be installed in new locations. Each fire hydrant will be protected from oncoming traffic by two fenders.
Street curb replacement will be the final part of the project. Nearly 13,800 feet of curb will be replaced, 30,814 square feet of sidewalks will be reconstructed, and 36,113 square yards of new asphalt will be laid down over a new concrete base. New curb, sidewalk, and asphalt will be leveled to guide storm water to the neighborhood’s new catch basins to ensure adequate drainage.
The $24 million project will improve street conditions, alleviate flood conditions, and upgrade infrastructure. The project, which is scheduled to be completed in summer 2021, will be funded by DEP and managed by DDC. DDC has assigned a full-time Community Construction Liaison (CCL) to the project. The CCL, Michelle Arfeen, keeps the neighborhood apprised of construction progress, coordinates street closures and utility shutoffs, and can arrange special requests such as deliveries to local homes and businesses.
DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo stated, “Through its infrastructure investments the de Blasio Administration has made a strong commitment to the people of southeast Queens. With this project thousands of residents and business owners in Hollis and Queens Village will have their flooding issues addressed and their streets rebuilt.”
DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza stated, “We are building a comprehensive drainage system across southeast Queens that will improve the quality of life for residents and businesses and raise the value of properties. We thank the residents for their patience during construction, our partners at DDC for their professional work and the elected officials for helping us deliver for their constituents.”
By: Laine Vitkevich (Laine is a CityLaw intern, New York Law School Class of 2020)