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City starts Oakland Lake repairs

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The third phase of a massive project to halt flooding in Bayside and filter sewer overflow in Douglaston has begun and will include repairing five locations around Oakland Lake, Community Board 11’s district manager said.

The upgrade is part of a larger project that completed its first phase in 2007. That phase was aimed at preventing flooding in Bayside Hills. Storm drains were installed at Springfield Boulevard and 46th Avenue as well as other sites in northeast Queens.

The second phase, which will be finished in November 2010, is located on a huge lot at the site of an old pumping station on Northern Boulevard in Douglaston. Sewer overflow and stormwater are to be held in a large tank at the site before being filtered and directed to a water treatment plant.

The city Department of Environmental Protection has estimated the entire project at anywhere between $125 million and $150 million.

The third phase, which entails repairs to five locales near Bayside’s Oakland Lake and Ravine, began last week, said Susan Seinfeld, CB 11’s district manager. The five sites include Springfield Boulevard at 46th Avenue, the Oakland Lake Outlet, Cloverdale Boulevard and Birmington Parkway, the Birmington Parkway Gully and the southern end of the Oakland Ravine.

The city will fix collapsed catch basins, curbs and paths that control storm water, which should prevent soil erosion, Seinfeld said.

“This section had been taken out of the project,” she said. “In the ravine, there’s a lot of debris that’s going to be removed. And there are erosion problems.”

But the project’s third phase will also include restoring grasslands and indigenous plants along Northern Boulevard that have been removed during construction.

This phase is also expected to be completed by November 2010, said Mercedes Padilla, a spokeswoman for the DEP.

The environmental review for the entire project began eight years ago and construction started in 2003.

Seinfeld said the city is planning another massive project for northeast Queens that will place a regulator and flow monitoring station at 220th Place and 46th Avenue to prevent street flooding. The project is scheduled to begin in January, she said.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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