Briarwood’s pipe dreams have been answered.
Officials from the Department of Design Construction recently began construction of a $15 million water main project that will replace nearly century-old pipes in Briarwood, and explained the plan to residents on Thursday in a community meeting.
The project stretches from 84th Road and 164th Street and will end at Hillside Avenue and Queens Blvd. The city’s water pipes, which have been in place since the 1920s according to a DDC representative, will be replaced with larger new ones, accommodating for the population growth in the last century.
“It’s very significant if you consider the fact that you have an increasing population coming into all Queens communities,” Seymour Schwartz, president of the Briarwood Community Association said. “And the fact is that our basic services cannot easily cope with the increases.”
The current pipes, some which are six inches in diameter and others that are eight inches, will be expanded to eight and 12-inch pipes respectively. The expanded diameter will also allow the opportunity to increase water pressure, DDC officials said.
Work on the pipes started a few weeks ago and will continue until November 2015. Workers will remove and replace pipes one block at a time during the year.
While pipes are being changed on a block, the water for that block will be turned off from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m., and residents and business owners will be notified 24 hours in advance. Officials said it should take between one to three days to complete a block. Despite the nuisance, residents were excited for the upgrade.
“It’s not that terrible,” Schwartz said. “Basically it’s shut off for one day for each person. When it’s all over, it’ll be good.”