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Queens Chronicle

$101M for sewer project in Maspeth

Calamus Avenue work is meant to improve drainage, drinking water

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Posted: Thursday, September 12, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:19 pm, Thu Sep 19, 2019.

Maspeth will be undergoing a $101 million sewer project to start in mid-September and continue through August 2023.

“This is not typical work,” said Maria Centeno, executive director of the city’s Department of Design and Construction, during an informational session at IS 73 on Tuesday. “This is really intense.”

As part of the Department of Environmental Protection’s plan to improve overall drainage and the quality of drinking water in the area, the work will replace old water mains and reconstruct combined sewers at 69th Street from Queens Boulevard to 48th Avenue, and 69th Street and 51st Avenue along 70th Street to the north side of the Long Island Expressway.

The project will see the reconstruction of a 96-inch diameter combined sewer; 30-inch, 24-inch, 18-inch and 15-inch diameter sewers; 20-inch, 12-inch and 8-inch diameter water mains; and the construction of four sewer chambers, 10 new sewer manholes; and the installation of 20 new fire hydrants.

There is some apprehension after a previous Calamus Avenue sewer project was long-stalled, while the Penelope Avenue sewer project is ongoing.

“DDC’s track record on sewer projects in this community is abysmal,” Councilman Bob Holden (D-Middle Village) said.

Assemblyman Brian Barnwell (D-Maspeth) told the Chronicle Calamus Avenue “looked like Eastern Europe after World War II” during the previous project.

Holden said the community is “gun-shy” about the project given the recent history.

“They owe us a good one,” he said.

Installation of a 5-foot by 8-foot combined sewer in Calamus Avenue is slated to start this fall, ending in fall 2020. Installation of a 5-by-8 foot combined sewer in 69th Street and Queens Boulevard is scheduled to begin this winter, ending in spring 2021.

Installation of Support of Excavation for deep shaft will start in winter 2020 and end in winter 2021. Deep shaft excavation is scheduled to take place from winter 2020 through summer 2022. Microtunneling for a 96-inch combined sewer is expected to begin in summer 2021 and finish in fall 2022.

There will be new shafts at each intersection to accommodate boring machine work, which the DDC said is less impactful than open trenches. There will also be real-time vibration monitoring and limited vibration during microtunneling — a method of digging that uses computers and machines, with human help, to create a tunnel. The new sewer will be inserted into the micro tunnel, allowing for less interruption on the street.

“This is a game changer,” Centeno said.

Sidewalk and driveway access from the curb will be temporarily restricted while work is conducted, with coordination arranged on a case-by-case basis. Water service interruptions will be necessary. A 72-hour advance advisory will be provided, followed by 24-hour confirmation or a cancellation notice.

Barnwell, who said he doesn’t “have confidence in these type of things,” said he wants residents to take every photo of their property they possibly can before work begins in case there are claims over damage.

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