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City Completes $71 Million Infrastructure Upgrade in Flushing

Project Improves Roadway Drainage and Reduces Flooding; 166 New Trees Improve Air Quality.
First Part of a Multi-Phase $200 Million Plan to Bring New Storm Sewers, Sanitary Sewers and Water Mains to the Area

March 28, 2018

Ian Michaels

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Vincent Sapienza and Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio today announced that construction has been completed on a $71 million infrastructure upgrade project in Flushing, Queens, that will improve roadway drainage and help to mitigate flooding during heavy rainstorms. The upgrades include new storm and sanitary sewers, as well as water mains, fire hydrants and catch basins. Funding for the project was provided by DEP while DDC managed the construction, which began in 2012.

“This project represents a major investment in the neighborhood’s infrastructure, reducing combined sewer overflows, addressing street flooding and increasing the resiliency of the local water delivery system,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “DDC and DEP coordinate closely in every borough to strengthen critical infrastructure and improve the quality of services provided by the City.”

“This $71 million investment in Flushing will significantly upgrade the sewer system, improve drainage, reduce flooding, and provide a reliable supply of water,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “We thank DDC for their efforts in managing this project, and the next phases to come, as we work together to strengthen this neighborhood’s infrastructure and make all of New York City more resilient.”

“The sewers and water mains in Flushing, College Point, and Whitestone have been significantly upgraded thanks to this $71 million investment, which will also help alleviate flooding,” said State Senator Tony Avella. “I’m happy to see these neighborhoods benefitting from such a large-scale, multiphase infrastructure project and look forward to the relief and improved quality of life it will bring residents.”

“This project is an example of the quality of life improvements that our community needs. The flooding induced by heavy rainstorms has forced many businesses in the area to temporarily close their doors when they could be serving customers,” Assemblyman Ron Kim stated. “These infrastructure improvements will benefit the residents and businesses here in Flushing. As the representative of a rapidly developing community, I look forward to more projects that will continue to strengthen our infrastructure.”

“These infrastructure upgrades are an important investment in our borough’s future and will do a great deal to improve roadway drainage and mitigate flooding,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “The New York City Department of Environmental Protection, led by Commissioner Vincent Sapienza, and the New York City Department of Design and Construction, led by Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio, deserve to be commended for their great work in seeing this critical project through to completion.”

“Improving drainage and reducing flooding are critical infrastructure needs in Flushing, and I thank the city for working to make sure our community is equipped with these basic necessities,” said City Council Member Peter Koo. “Flushing and its surrounding communities still have a long way to go until our waterways are able to meet federal standards of cleanliness, and I will continue working with the DEP and every advocate in our community until the day we can make our waterways truly fishable and swimmable.”

As part of the project, more than 7,700 linear feet of new storm sewers were constructed along the northbound Whitestone Expressway Service Road, between 25th Avenue and Flushing Creek, and in portions of 144th Street, Union Street, 25th Road, Farrington Street, and Higgins Street in the adjacent neighborhood. The newly added 53 catch basins will increase the system’s stormwater storage capacity and help to alleviate flooding.

Additionally, while the roadway was opened to install the sewers, more than 8,000 linear feet of new ductile iron water mains were built to replace the older cast iron pipes. This will improve water distribution in the area and 22 new hydrants will ensure firefighters have a reliable supply of water. Also, approximately 1,800 linear feet of sanitary sewers were installed in the area.

At the completion of construction, the roadway was repaved and new curbs, sidewalks, pedestrian ramps, streetlights and traffic signals were installed. Also, 166 trees were planted to help beautify the neighborhood and improve air quality.

This project serves as the first phase of a three-phase plan to improve and upgrade the area’s drainage and water distribution systems. The next two components are estimated to cost a combined $120 million, with Phase II expected to start construction later this year and Phase III slated to commence in 2020.

About the NYC Department of Environmental Protection
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking 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 $18.9 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $13 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