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August 3, 2016

Expanding Storm Sewers in Coney Island

West 21st Street, Mermaid Avenue Sewer and Water Main Project Ahead of Schedule

Crews install new sewers being installed on West 21st Street in Coney Island.
New sewers being installed on West 21st Street in Coney Island.

Ian Michaels
Executive Director of Public Information

Brooklyn, NY—A project to expand storm sewers and increase drainage capacity on parts of West 21st Street and Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island is on track to be completed by March, two months ahead schedule. The $27.7 million project began in May 2015 and is being managed by the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

“Expanding storm sewer capacity in flood-prone areas supports Mayor de Blasio’s goals to make our City stronger and more resilient,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “The proximity of the site to the ocean makes it challenging to install large sewers in the area, but the project has progressed well. We look forward to working with our partners at DEP on further drainage measures.”

The project brings significantly larger storm sewers to West 21st Street between Neptune and Surf Avenues, and Mermaid Avenue between West 21st and West 24th Streets, replacing an existing 42” diameter storm sewer with new concrete “box” sewers up to 9.5-feet wide and 3-feet high. The new storm sewers have over 350% the drainage capacity of the ones being replaced.

Almost a mile of water mains are also being replaced, including many that were installed in the 1890’s. New sanitary sewers are also being installed, and streets, curbs and sidewalks reconstructed.

“In order to support the weight of the concrete storm sewers, piles were driven into the roadway to a depth of 50 feet,” said DDC Engineer-in Charge Jatin Upadhyay, who is supervising the project. “Otherwise, because of the high water table in the neighborhood, the sewers would sink down further into the ground. This required a lot of coordination with Con Edison and other utilities so we could both make space under the street for the larger sewers, and also operate pile driving equipment safely in an area with overhead power lines.”

DDC Engineer-in-Charge Jatin Upadhyay, a 28-year veteran of City construction projects, talks to a crew member.
DDC Engineer-in-Charge Jatin Upadhyay, a 28-year veteran of City construction projects.

Upadhyay has 28 years of experience working on infrastructure projects for the City, first with DEP and then with DDC since it opened in 1996. He is originally from India and is active in the Gujarati Samaj of New York community center in Fresh Meadows, Queens, where he is Secretary of the Executive Committee.

“I like helping people and public construction is another way to do that,” said Upadhyay. “When I look around Coney Island, I know I’m making a difference in people’s lives.”

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 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