Visit the area around Springfield Gardens Lake and you are likely to see city construction crews digging huge pits to install water mains. It’s part of a massive infrastructure project slated for the area, which is well underway.
“The work is progressing,” said Mercedes Padilla, a spokeswoman for the city Department of Environmental Protection. “They are installing water mains around the Springfield Lake area, near 147th Street. The work will become more visible at the beginning of next year when they start dredging the lake.”
The $69 million infrastructure overhaul is the fourth phase of a $175 million comprehensive water and sewer infrastructure upgrade project that will help alleviate chronic roadway flooding in Springfield Gardens, according to the DEP.
“We have no complaints whatsoever,” James Gulston of the Spring-Gar Civic Association, said Wednesday. “We are very happy they are doing the project and improving the flow of water, and we are happy that they are going to do something about the lake because we get a lot of algae there.”
It has also been praised by City Councilman James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton), who represents the area and called the plan, “a once in a lifetime project” at a September community meeting.
Approximately 5,400 feet of sanitary sewer lines, 6,600 feet of storm sewer lines, 84 catch basins and 70 manholes will be installed as part of the project, which kicked off mid-October and is expected to extend through 2014.
“We have been in constant communication with the community, giving them information, meeting with them, depending on what street we are working on, in order to minimize disruptions and inconvenience,” Padilla said. “We let them know about traffic restrictions, if necessary.”
The city will dredge Springfield Lake and build three new storm water wetlands — one upstream and two downstream — to provide a barrier for clean runoff before it flows into Jamaica Bay. Springfield Boulevard will get a median strip to absorb water runoff, and it will be widened and extended straight to 147th Avenue.
The traffic signal that is now one block farther east at 147th and Springfield Lane will be removed and a signal will be installed at 147th and the newly extended boulevard. Part of the new street will abut a home at 146-20 Springfield Lane, essentially putting street traffic alongside its backyard. No one answered the door at the residence on Friday morning, and the occupants could not be reached by phone.
However, Jawad Assaf, the project manager for the city Economic Development Corp., told the Chronicle in September that there was no opposition to the plan on the part of property owners.