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April 19, 2017

Ozone Park Infrastructure Project Delivering 200 New Trees to Community

Dan Leibel

Queens, NY – A $41.4 million infrastructure project in Ozone Park that is replacing water mains and sewers, and increasing the sustainability of City streets, will provide the community with 200 new trees once work is completed, the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced today. The work is being managed by DDC for the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Red brick being laid
A trench on Tahoe Street where a new water main was recently installed

Over 16,300 feet of new water mains will replace pipes that in some cases date back to 1903. An additional 16,000 feet of new, larger sewers will be installed, increasing the drainage capacity for the area and reducing the likelihood of street flooding during storms. Roadways and sidewalks are being rebuilt and will include 13 new ADA-compliant pedestrian ramps at area intersections. The project area stretches from the corner of Linden Boulevard and Cross Bay Boulevard to the intersection of Cohancy Street and North Conduit Avenue, including Albert Road, 149th Avenue, and Pitkin Avenue.

The project includes a NYC Greenstreets component, where 1,300 feet of paved traffic islands and medians will be converted into green spaces with trees and shrubs along Hawtree Street from Bristol Avenue to Cohancy Street. The Greenstreets medians will beautify the neighborhood and also serve to absorb stormwater and reduce the amount of polluted stormwater runoff reaching the City’s natural bodies of water. Two hundred new trees will be added to the neighborhood, and new catch basins and fire hydrants will also be installed.

“We’re very pleased to partner with DEP to bring better drainage, more beautiful streets, and a more reliable drinking supply to this part of Queens,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “The new sewers in particular will strengthen the neighborhood, upholding Mayor De Blasio’s vision for a more resilient city, while reducing incidences of flooding.”

Red brick being laid
Gordon Williams, DDC Engineer-in-Charge for the Ozone Park infrastructure upgrades

The project is headed by DDC Engineer-in-Charge Gordon Williams, a New York City construction veteran who started his engineering career as a combat engineer in his native Guyana. After moving to the United States in 1983, he started his civil engineering career as a construction inspector at the NYC Department of Housing, Preservation & Development. He also worked for the City’s now-defunct Department of Ports and Terminals and the Department of Sanitation before starting at DDC in 1997 as a construction inspector.

“Everything there is to do in infrastructure, I’ve done,” said Williams, who is a Brooklyn resident. “The infrastructure improvements we’re making in Ozone Park will make a positive difference for the livelihoods of the community members.”

Williams serves another important role as a member of the DDC’s intern interview board, which is organized by the department’s human resources division and STEAM education initiative.

DDC provides paid opportunities for high school, college, and graduate interns to work with design and construction engineers, architects, administrators and other professionals over the course of the summer for exposure to the construction industry. More information about the internship program can be found on the DDC website.

“I feel that the internship program is important for us as an agency because it is mutually beneficial for the interns and the department,” said Williams. “The goal is to develop a strong nucleus within the interns so that they leave understanding the conditions of infrastructure outside of what they learn in the classroom. It’s great to broaden horizons and bring on young staff after they complete their internships.”

The general contractor for the project is Maspeth Supply and the REI firm is LiRo. 

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