Department of Design and Construction311Search all NYC.gov websites

Southeast Queens Initiative Brings Infrastructure Upgrades to Hollis and Queens Village

August 2019

The City’s program to improving drainage and street conditions throughout Southeast Queens means that residents and business owners in Hollis and Queens Village will soon no longer have to dread the flooding that has plagued their neighborhoods for decades.

DDC and DEP have started a $24 million project that will let residents enjoy the sound of the rain without worry of flooding. The project, scheduled to be completed by mid-2021, will bring 2,030 feet of new storm sewers, 6,863 feet of new sanitary sewers to 20 blocks of rebuilt streets. An additional 30,800 feet of sidewalks and 13,790 feet of curbs will be replaced to help direct stormwater to the new drainage system. The project will also increase fire protection with 18 replaced and four new fire hydrants.

The project is part of the City’s $1.9 billion investment to upgrade infrastructure, improve street conditions and alleviate flooding through southeast Queens. The program, the largest of its kind in the City, consists of 45 projects, including 10 that are substantially completed and 11 that are in active construction.

Dr. Hazel Smith-Jordan moved from Guyana to Queens in 1972 and became a resident at her Hollis home 30 years ago. A persistent ponding issue in front of her driveway has prevented her garbage from being removed, she says.

Dr.Hazel Smith-Jordan

“When I moved here, the roads seemed to be leaning and the driveways corresponded with the lean on the road. Before this project began, work was done here years ago and the ponding issue remained the same. I had the unfortunate experiences of my garbage being left behind a couple of times and I contacted the Department of Sanitation to get it removed because of the flooding.”

Mohammad Awadh has been manager of Hollis Deli for nearly 10 years. Stormwater ponds in the street for days after the last rainstorm and prevents people from using the pedestrian ramp in front of the store to cross the street.

Mr.Mohammad Awadh

“We are open 24/7 and lunch is the busiest time of the day. The crosswalk that leads to the pedestrian ramp outside of the store entrance is inaccessible for a couple of days when it rains, people have to jump over or walk on the road to escape from the water. Though we will have to deal with the heavy traffic during construction, it is temporary and the project is something positive that will help us in the long run.”

Stormwater remains on Hollis and Queens Village streets for days after the last rainfall and blocks ADA-accessible pedestrian ramps


Resident Engineer Thony Germain

“The project allows a better drainage system and help to provide updated water service. The improvement of the existing storm sewer system will help to alleviate ponding that accumulates around the neighborhood following any rainfall, said Resident Engineer Thony Germain. “This project is important for this area because of all that the community has to offer. The combination of small businesses, schools, and residents are constantly affected by heavy flooding and ponding issues that last for days after heavy rainfall. It is important to ensure that this community and others like it are not setback by the aftermath of inclement weather.”

“Through its infrastructure investments the de Blasio Administration has made a strong commitment to the people of southeast Queens,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “With this project thousands of residents and business owners in Hollis and Queens Village will have their flooding issues addressed and their streets rebuilt.”

“This project further demonstrates the City’s historic commitment to alleviate flooding in Southeast Queens,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “The installation of new drainage infrastructure will provide much needed relief in areas where the quality-of-life, health, and safety of local residents has been adversely impacted. Undoubtedly, the period of construction will be inconvenient, but our expectation is that constant engagement and transparency about the project’s progression will help mitigate inconveniences while promoting the project’s long-term benefits. I thank the Administration, DEP Commissioner Sapienza, DDC Commissioner Grillo, and their staff for continuing to be steadfast partners in this continuing endeavor.”

Community Construction Liaison Michelle Arfeen

To manage the needs of residents and businesses during construction, DDC has a full-time Community Construction Liaison (CCL) assigned to the project. 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. Ms. Arfeen works on-site and is directly accessible to the public at (347) 405-0006 or by email at seq002539ccl@gmail.com.