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October 16, 2012


Chris Gilbride / Mercedes Padilla (718) 595-6600

City Commences $69 Million Upgrade of Sewer and Water Infrastructure in Springfield Gardens

Project is Fourth Phase of $175 Million Neighborhood Upgrade to Alleviate Flooding;

Work Includes PlaNYC Initiative to Bring Bluebelt Program to Springfield Gardens

The New York City Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Transportation (DOT) today broke ground on the fourth phase of a comprehensive water and sewer infrastructure upgrade project that will help alleviate chronic roadway flooding in Springfield Gardens, Queens. The $69 million project includes the installation of 84 catch basins, approximately 2.8 miles of new sewer lines, nearly 3 miles of water mains and new streets and sidewalks. The project, which will be managed by the City’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC), will also include the creation of a Bluebelt, a wetland that both stores and treats stormwater runoff. Using green infrastructure principles, stormwater will be collected in the newly installed catch basins and discharged into wetlands where the water will be naturally filtered. This project is the fourth phase of a comprehensive $175 million upgrade of the sewer and water infrastructure in Springfield Gardens and is expected to be completed in 2014.

“The installation of new storm sewer lines in Springfield Gardens will help alleviate localized flooding, protect the public health and promote economic growth,” said DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland. “Further, by capturing and naturally filtering the stormwater in marshes and wetlands we keep it out of the sewer system and continue the important work of restoring the health of Jamaica Bay.”

“Low-lying streets in Springfield Gardens will get a lift with completely reconstructed streets and sidewalks, addressing the area’s flooding and making the neighborhood greener and more inviting," said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

“Today’s announcement is another example of how the City is investing in green infrastructure projects across the five boroughs,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “This $69 million infrastructure upgrade will not only alleviate flooding that has affected the area for years, but will also improve the water quality in nearby Jamaica Bay, while providing improved sidewalks and open space for the residents of Springfield Gardens for years to come.”

“For years, heavy rain in Springfield Gardens meant flooded roads, damaged homes, and thousands of dollars in repairs for residents,” said Councilman Sanders. “With this fourth phase of a $175 million neighborhood upgrade under way, relief is coming soon for Springfield homeowners who have been under assault from Mother Nature for far too long. I thank our friends from the Department of Environmental Protection for their work on this project, and eagerly await its completion for the health and wellbeing of the people of my district.”

The project area is bounded by South Conduit Avenue on the north side, 149th Avenue on the south side, 145th road/146th Avenue/225th Street on the east side and Springfield Boulevard on the west side. Approximately 5,400 feet of sanitary sewer lines, 6,600 feet of storm sewer lines, 84 catch basins, and 70 manholes will be installed as part of the project. The new sewer lines will help mitigate localized flooding in the neighborhood. In addition, construction will include the replacement of 7,750 feet of distribution water mains and 4,300 feet of trunk water mains. The new water mains will improve the reliability of the water distribution system by providing a critical redundancy that will minimize service disruption to consumers during any future water main work and service shutdowns. The reconstruction also includes the installation of 12,000 linear feet of concrete curb, 13,500 linear feet of steel faced concrete curb, 165,600 square feet of concrete sidewalk, 51,600 square yards of asphalt roadway, 43 hydrants, and 990 trees.

DEP’s Bluebelt program preserves and optimizes natural drainage corridors including streams, ponds and lakes and directs stormwater there to be stored and naturally filtered. In addition, the Bluebelts provide important open spaces and diverse wildlife habitats. This project will remove accumulated sediments from Springfield Lake and plant wetland shelves along its perimeter. Both measures will improve the water quality and aquatic habitat of the Lake. The increased depth of the Lake will also discourage algae blooms. Neighborhood stormwater will be collected in the 84 newly installed catch basins and rather than being deposited in the sewer system, it will be diverted into the newly constructed wetland systems. The wetlands will store the stormwater and allow suspended solids and debris to settle and excess nutrients to be absorbed by vegetation. The filtered water will then make its way through Springfield Lake and existing streams and wetlands into Jamaica Bay.

The project will also include a pilot use of 25,780 square feet of porous concrete in the median strip of Springfield Boulevard, one of the first uses of the treatment on a New York City roadway median. Porous concrete is a type of Green Infrastructure that allows stormwater to pass through it and be absorbed into the ground, rather than having it run off and be funneled to the nearest catch basin and discharged into the sewer system.

Overall, the $175 million comprehensive neighborhood upgrades for Springfield Gardens will result in the addition of approximately nine miles of new storm sewer lines, eight miles of sanitary sewer lines, 47 storm sewer chambers, 71,450 feet of distribution water mains, 7,550 feet of trunk water mains, 505 manholes and 305 fire hydrants.

This capital infrastructure upgrade is one of 217 water and sewer projects in Queens that are either under construction now or are in the planning and design phase. Investing in water distribution and sewer infrastructure is a central part of DEP’s upcoming capital plan. In Queens, the DEP Executive Budget includes $921 million of capital investments from Fiscal Year 2012-21 including $612 million for sewers, of which $205 million will fund high-level storm sewers to keep stormwater out of the combined sewer system, helping prevent combined sewer overflows and sewer backups.

DEP manages the city’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of water each day to more than nine million residents, including eight million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs, and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels, and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,400 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP employs nearly 6,000 employees, including nearly 1,000 in the upstate watershed. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600