City to expedite sewer construction on Calamus Avenue
by Benjamin Fang
Mar 22, 2017 | 2083 views | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Residents living along Calamus Avenue will only have to suffer potholes, loud construction and bus detours for nine more months.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley announced that the timeline for a sewer infrastructure project has been moved up. Originally slated for completion by next May, the project will now be finished by December 28, according to the Department of Design and Construction (DDC).

“For years, the Calamus Avenue sewer project altered lives around Maspeth, but I am encouraged that with this announcement will also come some peace for residents and a return to normalcy,” Crowley said. “Residents should not have to deal with blocked driveways, navigating around potholes or looking at the ground while they walk so they won’t trip for years on end.”

The $25 million project has gone on for three years, leaving some Maspeth and Woodside residents upset. They vented their frustrations at a town hall hosted by Crowley last month.

After heavy storms inundated the sewer systems in the area in 2007, community leaders, including Community Board 5, requested a project to alleviate flooding and improve drainage.

The sewer project is intended to increase sewer capacity, better manage stormwater and improve water quality, officials said at the town hall. The project will add new sewers, catch basins, water mains and storm drains.

But a major error last year caused the DDC to start over with a redesign. At last month’s town hall, DDC assistant commissioner Ali Mallick said when he took over, he found that the project was “dead.”

After being pressed by Councilwoman Crowley at the town hall, DDC moved up its completion date from May 2018 to the end of this year. Construction crews will now work Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., officials said.

Once finished, the Q47 bus line, which has been rerouted during the three years of construction, will return to its original route.

Local elected officials applauded the city agency’s decision to speed up construction.

“This project has already extended well beyond schedule and it is inexcusable that the DDC continues to cause problems on residents’ daily lives,” said State Senator Joseph Addabbo. “I also think it is vital that residents in Maspeth and Woodside continue to be vocal about any quality of life issues that may be caused by the construction.”

In a statement, DDC said it’s working on the “comprehensive project” now.

“To address the needs of the community, we are taking measures to expedite construction with our partners in government by expanding work hours later into the weekday and into the weekend,” the agency said. “Once the project is finished, residents will have access to improved infrastructure and will see the restoration of curbs, roadways and sidewalks.”
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