South-eastern Queens neighborhoods, which have long suffered from perpetual flooding, may see some immediate relief after the city announced it would work quickly to create new storm sewers and upgrade catch basements.
A multi-year, $6 billion sewer-upgrade plan to manage the area’s flooding was announced earlier this year, but the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has initiated smaller, targeted projects to control the issues in the interim, including new storm sewers and catch basin upgrades.
“I am very much looking forward to these essential improvements,” said City Councilmember Donovan Richards. “For far too long, large sections of southeast Queens have had to deal with sub-par sewer systems and I eagerly await the relief these new initiatives will bring.”
Storm sewers and 14 new catch basins were installed on 111th Avenue between 155th and 158th Streets and 113th Avenue between 156th and 157th Streets in South Jamaica. There are currently a number of other flood-prone locations under consideration for similar upgrades, according to the DEP, which will be approved in 2014.
These targeted sites are being chosen based on input from elected officials, community groups and 311 flood reports.
“Ground water and flooding issues within southeast Queens cannot be resolved without total cooperation from all involved and we must stay vigilant to ensure the funding continues,” said City Councilmember Leroy Comrie.
More than $383 million have been used over the last ten years to continue to extend the area’s sewer system and the DEP has allocated an additional $380 million for the next ten years.