FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 16-85
August 30, 2016
DEP (718) 595-6600; DDC (718) 391-1583
New Sewers, Water Mains and Roadways Coming to Canarsie and East New York
$56.5 Million Upgrade Will Reduce Flooding, Improve Reliability of Drinking Water Delivery System and Make Roadways Safer
Addition of High-Level Storm Sewers Will Improve the Health of Fresh Creek and Jamaica Bay—Modeling Shows an Annual Reduction of Nearly 200 Million Gallons of Combined Sewer Overflow
Photos and a Map of the Outreach Program are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page
The New York City Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Design and Construction (DDC) today announced that work has begun on a $56.5 million project in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn that will reduce street flooding, improve the reliability of the drinking water delivery system and rebuild the roadways. This first phase of work will see the replacement of nearly 4 miles of water mains, the construction of more than 2 miles of new, high-level storm sewers and the full rehabilitation of the roadways. This work constitutes the first portion of a three-phase capital project that in total will include the construction of more than 7 miles of new, high-level storm sewers to collect stormwater runoff, thereby diverting it from the existing combined sewer system and improving the health of Fresh Creek and Jamaica Bay. During the first phase of work, construction will take place on Flatlands Avenue and Avenue J, as well as the side streets between East 98th Street and East 108th Street. DEP is funding the project and DDC is managing the construction, which is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2018.
“Constructing new storm sewers in Canarsie and East New York will reduce flooding and significantly improve the health of Fresh Creek and Jamaica Bay,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “In addition, once the subsurface construction is complete, we will fully rebuild the roadways to ensure a safe and smooth ride for residents.”
“In keeping with Mayor de Blasio’s vision for a sustainable and resilient city, we are proud to partner with DEP to improve infrastructure for New Yorkers in Canarsie,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “Installing high-level storm sewers and new roadways will not only reduce flooding, but will decrease stormwater runoff from the existing combined sewer system. DDC is committed to providing services that enhance our communities and contribute to the city’s growth.”
“The success of our city sits—both figuratively and literally—upon the infrastructure that maintains our daily quality of life. It is vital that we are on top of funding and completing critical neighborhood projects such as new roadways, storm sewers, and water mains, which is why I appreciate the leadership of DEP Acting Commissioner Sapienza and DDC Commissioner Peña-Mora on the construction planned in Canarsie and East New York,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “These improvements will go a long way toward reducing the impact of street flooding in this part of Brooklyn, a focus of my administration that has been highlighted by our Adopt-A-Storm Drain pilot in Canarsie and other communities across the borough alongside our partners at DEP.”
“Numerous efforts to improve the water quality and habitat of Jamaica Bay have been paying off as the bay is really ‘turning the tide’ on many of the problems that have plagued it over the years,” said Dan Mundy, Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers. “This new DEP project will help to address stormwater runoff which is one of the remaining issues that can have a significant negative impact on the waters of the Bay. The capture of the stormwater along with the wetlands restoration work will have a very positive impact on Jamaica Bay and one the Jamaica Bay Ecowatcher’s are extremely excited to see move forward.”
The first phase of the project consists of the construction of more than 2 miles of high level storm sewers and the reconstruction of .16 miles of sanitary sewers and .2 miles of combined sewers. In addition, there will be nearly 3.9 miles of distribution water mains replaced, ensuring a reliable supply of high-quality water for decades to come. The work also includes the installation of 135 new catch basins to help stormwater drain from the roadways and 64 fire hydrants to ensure that firefighters have ready access to the City’s water supply. Once all the subsurface work is completed, the affected roadways will be rebuilt, including curbs and sidewalks.
Altogether, the three-phase project covers an approximately 419-acre drainage area and aims to reduce combined sewer overflows into Fresh Creek, a tributary of Jamaica Bay. The increased collection of stormwater runoff will reduce roadway and property flooding and separate out an estimated 50 percent of the stormwater flow from the combined sewers. By reducing pressure on the existing combined sewer system, modeling shows that overflows into Fresh Creek will be reduced by approximately 189 million gallons annually. This project is part of an agreement between New York City and the New York State Department of Conservation which aims to significantly improve the health of New York Harbor.
In addition, the project will include wetland restoration within the Fresh Creek Basin Nature Preserve. The existing saltmarsh cordgrass habitat will be graded and expanded in accordance with a design that was developed with the Department of Parks and Recreation. The objective will be to remove fill, debris, and invasive species, and other ecological impairments to create approximately 25,000 square feet of wetland restoration in two wetland zones comprised of intertidal marsh (about 20,000 square feet) and high marsh (about 5,000 square feet). Plantings to compliment the saltmarsh cordgrass will include saltmeadow cordgrass, spikegrass, and black grass rush. The work will also include the creation of approximately 34,000 square feet of coastal forest that will enhance the overall ecology of the preserve.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high-quality water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.5 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $14 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to city projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.