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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 19-029
May 1, 2019
DEP: 718-595-6600,
DDC: 718-391-1251

$145 Million Infrastructure Upgrade in Canarsie and East New York Progresses to Phases II and III

High-Level Storm Sewers for Canarsie and East New York

Constructing Separate Storm and Sanitary Sewers Will Help to Reduce Flooding, Make Roadways Safer and Improve the Health of Fresh Creek and Jamaica Bay

A Map of the Project Area and Photos of the Work are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page

The New York City Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Design and Construction (DDC) today announced that progress continues on the $145 million infrastructure upgrade in the Canarsie and East New York neighborhoods of Brooklyn. The massive undertaking will reduce street flooding, improve the health of Fresh Creek and Jamaica Bay, ensure the reliability of the drinking water delivery system, and make neighborhood roadways safer for all users.

The first phase of work, which is nearing completion, saw the replacement of nearly 4 miles of water mains, the construction of more than 2 miles of new, high-level storm sewers and the full rehabilitation of the roadways. This work constitutes the first portion of a three-phase capital project that in total will include the construction of more than 7 miles of new, high-level storm sewers to collect stormwater runoff, divert it from the existing combined sewer system and thereby improve the health of Fresh Creek and Jamaica Bay. Work on the second and third phases of this project are now underway. DEP is funding the project and DDC is managing the construction.

“Constructing a separate storm sewer system in Canarsie and East New York will reduce flooding and significantly improve the health of Fresh Creek and Jamaica Bay,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “In addition, once the subsurface construction is complete, we will fully rebuild the roadways to ensure a safe and smooth ride for residents.”

“Bolstering our stormwater management system in Canarsie and East New York is as critical to the health of our coastline as it is to the quality of life in communities where streets are too often obstructed by storms,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “In the face of climate change, investments like these to modernize our flood infrastructure systems are integral to strengthen our borough’s resiliency. I thank DEP for continuing to advance this important work in Southern Brooklyn.”

“I would like to thank the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and the NYC Department of Design and Construction for the crucial work that is being done to provide stormwater management in Canarsie,” said Council Member Alan Maisel. “My district, like other coastal communities, was severely impacted by Super Storm Sandy; this project will help ensure the continued viability. This is especially true as we face the future knowing that this will not be the last super storm we will have to endure, considering the impact of climate change and the rising of sea levels. This has been painstaking process for the residents that live and travel within the construction route; however the end result will strengthen our resiliency against future storms.”

During the $56.5 million first phase of construction, which included sections of Conklin Avenue, Flatlands Avenue, Avenue J, and, East 108th Street, as well as several surrounding side streets, more than 2 miles of high level storm sewers were installed, and .16 miles of sanitary sewers and .2 miles of combined sewers were reconstructed. In addition, nearly 4 miles of new ductile iron distribution water mains were built to replace the older cast iron pipes, ensuring a reliable supply of high-quality water for decades to come. The 67 newly added catch basins help to drain stormwater from the roadways and the 60 additional fire hydrants will help to ensure that firefighters have ready access to the City’s water supply. All affected roadways were rebuilt, including curbs and sidewalks.

Phases II and III, totaling almost $89 million, are now underway and will build upon the newly installed network of sewer infrastructure. Ongoing work on these segments of the upgrade will see the installation of more than 4.3 miles of new ductile iron distribution water mains and approximately 4.3 miles of high level storm sewers. The plans also call for the construction of 109 catch basins and 68 fire hydrants. Once all the subsurface work is completed, the impacted roadways, curbs and sidewalks will be rebuilt and 129 trees will be planted to help improve air quality and provide shade.

Altogether, the three-phase project covers an approximately 419-acre drainage area and aims to reduce combined sewer overflows into Fresh Creek, a tributary of Jamaica Bay. The increased collection of stormwater runoff will reduce roadway and property flooding and separate out an estimated 50 percent of the stormwater flow from the combined sewers. By reducing pressure on the existing combined sewer system, modeling shows that overflows into Fresh Creek will be reduced by approximately 189 million gallons annually. This project is part of an agreement between New York City and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation that aims to significantly improve the health of New York Harbor.

In addition, the project will include wetland restoration within the Fresh Creek Basin Nature Preserve. The existing saltmarsh cordgrass habitat will be graded and expanded in accordance with a design that was developed with the Department of Parks and Recreation. The objective will be to remove fill, debris, and invasive species, and other ecological impairments to create approximately 25,000 square feet of wetland restoration in two wetland zones comprised of intertidal marsh (about 20,000 square feet) and high marsh (about 5,000 square feet). Plantings to compliment the saltmarsh cordgrass will include saltmeadow cordgrass, spikegrass, and black grass rush. The work will also include the creation of approximately 34,000 square feet of coastal forest that will enhance the overall ecology of the preserve.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.5 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. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $19.7 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $13.5 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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

(718) 595-6600