April 24, 2019
DEP: Douglas Auer, 718-595-6600, Dauer@dep.nyc.gov
DDC: Shoshana Khan, 718-391-1251, KhanSho@ddc.nyc.gov
Brookville, NY – NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Vincent Sapienza and NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Lorraine Grillo joined Council Member Donovan Richards today to break ground on an $84 million project that has begun in Brookville, Queens to upgrade infrastructure, improve street conditions and alleviate flooding. The project is being funded by DEP, managed by DDC, and is scheduled to be completed in summer 2021.
The project is part of a $1.9 billion investment by the de Blasio Administration to build a comprehensive drainage system and alleviate flooding in neighborhoods throughout southeast Queens. The program, the largest of its kind, consists of 45 projects overall, including 10 that are substantially completed and 11 that are in active construction.
“Mayor de Blasio committed $1.9 billion to combat flooding in southeast Queens and with shovels in the ground today in Brookville, we are one step closer to a comprehensive drainage system for the entire area,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “I thank Council Member Richards for his tireless advocacy, his constituents for their continued patience and our partners at DDC for their professional management of this critical work.”
“The new storm sewers in this project will help drain not only this neighborhood but also eventually other areas in southeast Queens that are north of Idlewild Park and will receive new sewers as well under the southeast Queens initiative,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “We’re happy to work with our partners at the Department of Environmental Protection to make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of people.”
“With every new project completed in Southeast Queens, we are getting closer to the days where flooding is a concern of the past,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “The community of Brookville has suffered through flooded streets, lawns and basements following nearly every rain storm, which is why the completion of this project is so important to the residents around Idlewild Park. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio, DDC Commissioner Grillo and DEP Commissioner Sapienza for their dedication to righting the wrongs of the past.”
“The work that has begun in Brookville is an important investment in our borough’s future that will do a great deal to enhance street conditions and alleviate flooding,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “This work illustrates the City’s commitment to improving our borough’s infrastructure in ways that will have a significant positive impact. 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 Commissioner Lorraine Grillo, deserve to be commended for spearheading this important project.”
“For decades, the residents of Southeast Queens have been affected by chronic flooding and poor sewage infrastructure. Today, NYC DDC and DEP, will embark on a $84 million reconstruction of these systems improving both Brookville and Laurelton,” said Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman. “With these improvements slated for completion in 2021, my constituents will have new streets with a higher quality of life.”
"Brookville residents are all too familiar with the chronic flooding of streets and home basements throughout Southeast Queens," said State Senator Leroy Comrie. "I commend Mayor de Blasio and Commissioners Grillo and Sapienza for investing in a comprehensive array of infrastructure improvements that will address this persistent quality of life problem in affected parts of Southeast Queens."
Work will take place on 21 blocks near Idlewild Park. More than two miles (12,400 feet) of water mains, some dating to before World War II, will be replaced with new pipes ranging from 8 to 20 inches in diameter. Twenty-five fire hydrants will be replaced and fire protection will be enhanced with 11 additional fire hydrants installed at new locations.
There will be 8,200 feet of new storm sewers and 3,700 feet of new combined sewers added to the neighborhood, ranging in size from 15 inches diameter all the way up to rectangular sewers that are 16.5-feet wide by 8-feet high. A total of 96 new catch basins will also be installed to capture stormwater and direct it to the new storm sewers. During the job existing sanitary sewers will also be replaced, with 7,600 feet installed ranging in size from 10 to 24 inches in diameter. The project will create a double-barrel storm sewer system that outlets to Idlewild Park, and which will serve as an outlet for additional projects yet to be built as part of the southeast Queens program.
As part of the final street restoration, 5,900 feet of curbs will be replaced, 65,000 square feet of sidewalks will be reconstructed and 21,000 square yards of new asphalt will be laid down over a concrete base. The new curbs and sidewalks will be graded to help guide stormwater to the area’s new catch basins to ensure adequate street drainage during storms.
James Salvio has lived in Brookville near Idlewild Park since 1999. He has had to renovate his home to repair property damage that occurred because of flooding in his basement.
"I’ve lived here for 20 years and there hasn’t been much development until now,” said Salvio. “The streets were raised to decrease the flooding issue before I moved here, but that didn’t seem to work as well as they hoped. When it rains, water ponds up for about two or three days until it dries up.
“I had a sump pump and a water sensor installed, which prevents water from entering the house. Since the curbs are low, the water doesn’t have proper guidance to go to the catch basins to get out of the street, so it accumulates,” Salvio said. “Many times it goes into the basements of homeowners. Down the road by 148th Avenue there’s a lot of flooding and there’s water from one side of the street to the other. We are looking forward to finally getting flood relief in the area.”
Daniel Woods moved to Brookville in 2004 because he wanted to own a two-family house. When it rains, he drives around the block to avoid persistent flooding down the street from his home.
“It gets bad when it rains,” said Woods. “Around the corner, the water just doesn’t go down for days. I hope that the new sewers take care of the issue, it’s been this way for quite some time. There’s still a pond of water there from when it rained four days ago. They often have to stop the school buses from going down that road when it rains because it floods so badly.”
To manage the needs of residents and businesses during construction, DDC has a full-time Community Construction Liaison (CCL) assigned to the project. CCL Haris Hussain 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. Mr. Hussain works on-site and is directly accessible to the public at (929) 206-5525 or by email at email@example.com.