BY SHOSHANA KHAN
The city is improving drainage and street conditions in Brookville much to the relief of neighborhood residents. The area experiences persistent flooding, with wet basements and puddles that last for days after a rainstorm, but that’s about to change.
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Department of Design and Construction (DDC) has started a $84 million project to upgrade infrastructure, improve street conditions and alleviate flooding.
The project is being funded by DEP, managed by DDC, and scheduled to be completed in summer 2021.
Work will take place on 21 blocks near Idlewild Park. More than two miles 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 in 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.
“I had a sump pump and a water sensor installed, which prevents water from entering the house,” said homeowner James Salvio.
“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.
“Many times it goes into the basements of homeowners,” he added. “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.”
“It gets bad when it rains,” said resident Daniel 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.”
The project is part of a $2.2 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.
Shoshana Khan is an assistant public information officer with the Department of Design and Construction.