City to update sewer system in Forest Hills

Forest Hills residents hope scenes like this are a thing of the past after a $24 million storm sewer upgrade. Photo by Ellis Kaplan
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Flooding along neighborhood streets in Forest Hills had residents calling for a city solution to their watery problems after rain tore through the area earlier this month.

The city now hopes to have solved some of the issues with $24 million in infrastructure upgrades to the neighborhood’s storm sewer system, a reconstruction project to help alleviate localized roadway flooding while also improving the water distribution system.

The city Departments of Environmental Protection and of Design and Construction announced the upgrades Friday, giving Forest Hills approximately 1 mile of new sewer lines and a half mile of water mains.

“These new roadways, catch basins and sewers will reduce flooding, improve water delivery and yield a more attractive streetscape for the residents of Forest Hills,” said Eric MacFarlane, deputy commissioner for infrastructure at Design and Construction.

As part of the project, the city installed approximately 1,700 feet of sanitary sewer lines, more than 4,000 feet of storm sewer lines, 55 catch basins and 49 manholes. The increased sewer capacity will help reduce roadway flooding and sewer backups in the surrounding area.

The project also included the replacement of a 2,400-foot section of a water distribution main. DEP officials said the new water main will improve reliability by minimizing service disruption to consumers during any future water main work and service shutdowns.

Funded by the DEP and the DDC, the project installed new storm sewer lines at 10th Street between 62nd Drive and 64th Road, 62nd Drive between 108th and 112th streets, 112th Street between Horace Harding Expressway and 63rd Avenue, 108th Street between 62nd Road and 62nd Drive, Colonial Avenue between Horace Harding Expressway and 62nd Drive, 62nd Drive between 108th and 112th streets and 110th Street between 62nd Drive and 63rd Avenue.

Carter Strickland, the DEP commissioner, said this capital infrastructure upgrade is one of 217 similar 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.

“Over the next decade we will invest more than half a billion dollars to make improvements to sewer infrastructure in Queens,” said Strickland. “The more than 200 projects we have in the works will help better manage storm water throughout Queens and significantly reduce combined sewer overflow, sewer backups and street flooding.”

In Queens, the DEP executive budget includes $921 million of capital investments from fiscal year 2012 through 2021, including $612 million for sewers, of which $205 million will fund high-level storm sewers to keep storm water out of the combined sewer system, helping to prevent combined sewer overflows and backups.

Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4546.

Posted 2:29 am, September 6, 2012
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Reader feedback

Robert Federico from Rego park says:
Will the work improve the Rego park area of yellowstone and alderton st?
We have had 1 flood in August and another in. September !
We need to have our neighborhood fixed!
Sept. 9, 2012, 10:19 pm

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