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Heavy rains earlier this month proved true the old adage “When it rains, it pours,” and when it pours in certain parts of southeast Queens streets can look more like Springfield Lake than Springfield Boulevard.
With the goal of addressing the chronic flooding problems around Springfield Gardens and Brookville, the city announced it will begin a $70 million project this fall that includes dredging the lake in Springfield Park and building three new storm sewer wetlands both upstream and downstream of the lake to create a barrier and allow clean runoff to flow into Jamaica Bay.
The project is a joint venture between the city Environmental Protection, Transportation and Parks departments as well as the city Economic Development Corp.
Plans also call to reconstruct Springfield Boulevard, add a porous pavement median strip to absorb runoff and extend the roadway to 147th Street.
In a recent blog post, the EDC said the project is expected to be completed by fall 2014, and additional improvements will include more than 89,000 new plantings as well as new sidewalks and bike paths.
A spokesman for the DEP said this is the final phase of the project that will include the EDC, but the DEP will continue to make improvements in the area in the future.
The Environmental Protection and Transportation departments have pitched in $130 million so far for storm sewer construction, and the city plans to invest another $20 million to reinforce Springfield Lake, according to the EDC.
City Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) said the improvements are much-needed.
“For years, Springfield Gardens residents have dealt with the damage and dangers that result from severe flooding every time there is a heavy rain. From water damage to their homes and roads, to flooded streets that make driving a hazard, to the pools of standing water that invite mosquitoes and create a stink, the floods have wreaked havoc on people’s lives and cost them thousands of dollars in repairs,” he said.
“It’s been a long time coming, but finally, meaningful upgrades and repairs are coming to our community in the form of new construction in and around Springfield Lake that will run clean water off of our streets and away from our homes towards Jamaica Bay,” Sanders added.
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4574.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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