The City is improving drainage and street conditions in Brookville, Queens, much to the relief of neighborhood residents. The area experiences persistent flooding, with wet basements and puddles that last for days after a rainstorm, but that’s about to change and rain will no longer bring worry to local homeowners.
DDC and DEP are beginning a $84 million project that will bring residents peace of mind. The project, which began in March 2019 and is scheduled to be completed in summer 2021, will bring new storm sewers and rebuilt streets, with 96 new catch basins and 5,900 feet of new curbs to capture and direct stormwater to the new system.
The project will also replace the neighborhood’s aging water mains and sanitary sewers, as well as more than 65,000 square feet of sidewalks. Eleven fire hydrants will also be added to the area to enhance fire protection.
The project is part of the City’s $1.9 billion investment to upgrade infrastructure, improve street conditions and alleviate flooding through southeast Queens. The program, the largest of its kind in the City, consists of 45 projects, including 10 that are substantially completed and 11 that are in active construction.
James Salvio has lived near Idlewild Park in Brookville since 1999. He’s had to renovate his home to repair damage that occurred because of flooding in his basement.
“I’ve lived here for 20 years and there hasn’t been much development until now,” said Salvio. “When it rains, water ponds up for about two or three days until it dries up.
"I had a sump pump and a water sensor installed, which prevents water from entering the house. Since the curbs are low, the water doesn’t have proper guidance to go to the catch basins to get out of the street, so it accumulates. Many times it goes into the basements of homeowners. Down the road by 148th Avenue there’s a lot of flooding and there’s water from one side of the street to the other. We are looking forward to finally getting flood relief in the area,” he said.
Daniel Woods has been a resident of Brookville for 15 years, moving to the neighborhood when he bought a two-family house across the street from the local elementary school. Persistent flooding near his home makes him change his normal driving route whenever it rains.
“It gets bad when it rains,” said Woods. “Around the corner, the water just doesn’t go down for days. I hope that the new sewers take care of the issue, it’s been this way for quite some time. There’s still a pond of water there from when it rained four days ago. They often have to stop the school buses from going down that road when it rains because it floods so badly."
“The new storm sewers in this project will help drain not only this neighborhood but also eventually other areas in southeast Queens that are north of Idlewild Park and will receive new sewers as well under the southeast Queens initiative,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “We’re happy to work with our partners at the Department of Environmental Protection to make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of people.”
“With every new project completed in Southeast Queens, we are getting closer to the days where flooding is a concern of the past,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “The community of Brookville has suffered through flooded streets, lawns and basements following nearly every rain storm, which is why the completion of this project is so important to the residents around Idlewild Park. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio, DDC Commissioner Grillo and DEP Commissioner Sapienza for their dedication to righting the wrongs of the past.”
To manage the needs of residents and businesses during construction, DDC has a full-time Community Construction Liaison (CCL) assigned to the project. CCL Haris Hussain keeps the neighborhood apprised of construction progress, coordinates street closures and utility shutoffs and can arrange special requests such as deliveries to local homes and businesses. Mr. Hussain works on-site and is directly accessible to the public at (929) 206-5525 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.