At the meeting, representatives from the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) confirmed that the $22.1 million project would be done by June 2018.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley hosted the session at PS/IS 128. She said the area’s aging infrastructure, including water mains that had not been replaced since 1950, was suffering.
“What really pushed the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to do this larger project had to do with the storms that we had back to back in 2008 and 2009,” she said. “Many people in Middle Village, as well as Maspeth and Glendale, experienced the hardship of flooding.
“What we’re hoping this project will do is make sure that we don’t have that type of experience again in the future,” Crowley added. “By building it out, we can prevent those types of flooding situations from happening.”
Magdy Ghaly, resident engineer in charge of the project for DDC, explained that the old water mains were made of cast iron, which he called “brittle material.” The new pipes are made of the stronger ductile iron.
Ghaly said the new system would prevent water main breaks and erosion. The project doubles the sewer’s capacity in some areas, and even tripled capacity in the parts prone to flooding.
“It will prevent all the flooding this community is suffering from,” he said.
DDC has finished all the utilities and water main work, and is now working on the combined sewer portion, Ghaly said. That is expected to be complete by next June.
After both projects are complete, construction crews will restore the road and add ADA-compliant pedestrian ramps, new sidewalks and fire hydrants.
Residents raised a number of concerns about the project’s impact on local quality of life. Some asked about property damage, while others were upset about losing parking spots.
A common complaint was the mess that construction crews left behind after they finished work.
Ghaly said he would ask the contractors to do a better job with cleanup.
“We’ll try to do better with our housekeeping,” he said.
Residents also asked about possibly remaking some streets into one-ways to avoid sideswiping of cars. DDC representatives said they would look into it with the Department of Transportation (DOT).
Crowley said her office would continue to monitor the project week by week.
“We’ll work together to make sure this is smooth and as little burdensome as possible,” she said.