When the city first proposed the massive sewer replacement project for the Centreville section of Ozone Park, the councilman who currently represents the neighborhood wasn’t even born yet.
Now, Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) and the Department of Design and Construction are saying the work will finally begin one year from now.
The long-delayed project would replace sidewalks, streets, curbs, street lights, traffic signals and sewer and water mains in a section of Ozone Park bordered by Linden Boulevard to the north, Albert Road and North Conduit Avenue to the south, Cross Bay Boulevard to the west and the A train subway line to the east. The work also includes better draining systems in the area, some of which is notorious for flooding during rainstorms. The project, known by its designation HWQ411B, was first proposed in 1982, but never commenced.
Now the DDC says the $45 million project is in the design phase, which is expected to be finished by June 2013. Work is slated to begin in March 2014 and take three years.
But some are still skeptical.
“Seeing is believing,” said Howard Kamph, president of the Ozone Park Civic Association, who noted that the last time the city announced the project was about to start, in 2009, the 2011 start date came and went with no work commencing.
“As things went on, rules and laws have changed. So it took them an extra three years from the last time they said they’d start,” he explained.
The delay was due, in part, to lack of funds and the city’s need to use eminent domain to take property in order to construct sidewalks, specifically along Bristol Avenue, a dead-end street adjacent to the Ozone-Howard Little League fields where new sidewalks and curbs are being proposed, and a number of side streets off Albert Road near North Conduit Avenue.