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April 4, 2014


DEP (718) 595-6600; DDC (718) 391-1641; DOT (212)839-4850 

City Completes $45 Million Infrastructure Upgrade in Somerville Neighborhood on the Rockaways

New Catch Basins and Storm Sewers Will Help to Reduce Street Flooding and New Traffic Signals, Street Lights, Roadways and Sidewalks Will Improve Safety

Photos of the Construction Project and a Map of the Work Area are Posted on DEP’s Flickr Page

The New York City Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP), Transportation (DOT) and Design and Construction (DDC) today announced the completion of a $45 million infrastructure upgrade project in the Somerville neighborhood on the Rockaways.  Prior to this project, the area was not equipped with catch basins and storm sewers and the streets often flooded during heavy rain storms.  As part of the upgrade, nearly two miles of storm sewers and 107 catch basins were installed to help drain precipitation from the roadways.  In addition, the project installed more than two miles of water mains and more than a mile of sanitary sewers, reconstructed the roadways, built new sidewalks, and added more than 100 street lights, 31 traffic signals and nearly 300 street trees.  The project was funded by DEP and DOT and managed by DDC.

“Well-functioning sewers and a reliable drinking water delivery system promote public health and help neighborhoods deal with extreme weather,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd.  “With more than $700 million budgeted for similar projects in Queens over the next 10 years we look forward to continuing to build out and upgrade these critical services throughout the borough.”

"Our work to rebuild streets, particularly in areas hardest hit by Sandy, is an investment that pays off today and for generations to come," said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. "From new traffic signals to catch basins to fresh asphalt for a smoother surface, these streets are now in better shape to withstand routine wear and tear, extreme weather and whatever else the future holds."

“We’re proud to have completed this vital work to reduce flooding, improve water service, and beautify the streets of the Rockaways,” said DDC Acting Commissioner David Resnick.  “The Somerville project is part of a significant City investment to improve the infrastructure of the Rockaways and southern Queens -- with several more drainage and roadway projects in the area either on the way or currently in construction.”

“As the Rockaways continue to struggle to recover from Hurricane Sandy, it is good news for the residents of the Rockaways that New York City has completed this $45 million infrastructure upgrade project in the Somerville neighborhood in the Rockaways,” said Senator James Sanders Jr.  This project will help mitigate future flooding in the community and ensure that the residents will have safe drinking water.  I look forward to working with the Mayor and City agencies to continue to make needed capital improvements in the infrastructure of the Rockaways.”

“As Chair of the Committee of Environmental Protection, I’ve committed myself to resolving serious flooding issues across our city, especially those throughout Southern Queens and the Rockaways,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “I want to thank DEP, DOT and DDC for all of the hard work that went into the installation of these brand new sewer lines, catch basins and roadways that will improve the quality of so many lives. I’m looking forward to our future projects, as we continue to improve our infrastructure together!”

To improve safety in the neighborhood the project included the installation of 109 street lights, 31 traffic signals, 38 fire hydrants, and new sidewalks, curbs, pedestrian ramps and reconstructed roadways.  The addition of 276 street trees will provide shade in the summer and help to clean the air.

The installation of 9,549 linear feet of new storm sewers, 107 catch basins and 141 manholes will help to better manage the precipitation that falls in the area and reduce localized flooding.  In order to provide improved system reliability, the project included the replacement of 8,728 linear feet of sanitary sewers. 

While the roadway was opened to add the new sewers the City also upgraded the drinking water delivery system by replacing the old cast iron water mains with new ductile iron mains.  As part of the project, 2,547 linear feet of 36-inch diameter trunk water mains and 9,475 feet of 8 and 12-inch diameter distribution water mains were installed.  Upgrading the water main network will help to ensure a reliable supply of high quality drinking water for area residents and businesses.

The work area included: Arverne Boulevard from Beach 59th Street to Beach 62nd Street; Thursby Avenue from Beach 62nd Street to Beach 69th Street; Beach Channel Drive from Beach 59th Street to Beach 68th Street; Beach 63rd Street from Thursby Avenue to Rockaway Freeway; Beach 64th Street from Thursby Avenue to Beach Channel Drive; Beach 65th Street from Almeda Avenue to Beach Channel Drive; Beach 66th Street from Thursby Avenue to Beach Channel Drive; Beach 67th Street from Thursby Avenue to Rockaway Freeway; and Beach 68th Street from Elizabeth Avenue to Beach Channel Drive.

DEP manages New York 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 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600