Today’s news:

Douglaston flood storage tank project to wrap in ’09: CB 11

An enormous project along Northern Boulevard in Douglaston that would halt flooding in Bayside is scheduled for completion by 2010, a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Environmental Protection said Tuesday.

The environmental review for the project, being overseen by the DEP, began nearly eight years ago and construction began in 2003, CB 11 District Manager Susan Seinfeld said.

The project is now more than 85 percent complete and is expected to wrap up within two years, she said.

“It’s been such a huge job, but there has also been a lot of relief for residents,” she said.

The first phase of the project was aimed at preventing flooding in Bayside Hills. Storm drain lines were installed at a number of Bayside Hills sites as part of the first phase, including Springfield Boulevard and 46th Avenue as well as areas near the Cross Island Parkway and Queensborough Community College, Seinfeld said.

The project’s second phase is located on a huge lot along Northern Boulevard in Douglaston. The site, near the Alley Pond Environmental Center, is the site of an old pumping station, Seinfeld said. Sewer overflow and storm water is to be held in a large tank at the site before being filtered and directed back to a water treatment plant.

She said the city would soon begin restoring grasslands and indigenous plants along Northern Boulevard that have been removed during the project’s construction as part of its third phase.

“They’ve removed a lot of plants that were invasive to the [project],” she said. “But they will be putting back ones that should be in a wetland.”

DEP spokeswoman Mercedes Padilla said the agency is in the process of restoring 10 acres of wetland near the project.

Seinfeld said the project would also entail cleaning the area near Oakland Lake and improving its catch basins.

The cost for the entire project is estimated at more than $100 million.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

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