Last Tuesday, elected officials and city agencies celebrated the completion of a nearly $300,000 flood mitigation project in the area. Four new catch basins have been installed, along with 160 feet of drainage pipes and 676 linear feet of new curb adjacent to the railroad tracks.
In the fall, Department of Transportation (DOT) crews will be doing curb-to-curb resurfacing of Edsall Avenue from 71st Place to 73rd Place.
“The street will look picture-perfect and flawless,” said Queens DOT Commissioner Nicole Garcia.
Local lawmakers, including Assemblyman Mike Miller and Councilman Robert Holden, applauded the collaboration between DOT and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), which installed the sewers.
They both noted that the severe ponding issues have plagued Edsall Avenue residents for more than a decade.
“It really was a lake or a pond with a lot of mosquitos,” Holden said. “That’s what the block endured for such a long time.”
For Glendale resident Bob Richardson, who has lived on Edsall Avenue since 1957, the water was so deep residents had to wade through a puddle just to get to their cars.
“Every time it rains, it would always add to the puddle,” he said. “You had to wait for it to evaporate, and sometimes it takes a while.
“In the winter, the water would freeze and cause potholes,” Richardson added. “It was a big concern for a long time.”
Dorie Figliola, a resident of the neighborhood for over 65 years, said the flooding worsened when a one-family house on the corner was taken down. All of the greenery on the property left with it.
“You now had a lot of cement and no drainage,” she said. “It made it worse for the street.”
Figliola said the ponding was so deep that she could put “a little raft” on it. She once even brought a rubber duck to float on it.
But now that the city has completed the project, residents are pleased with the outcome.
Richardson noted that crews pushed the road closer to the fence, and put in rocks and pebbles on the street adjacent to the railroad to absorb water.
The milling and paving should allow any water to flow down to the new sewers, he said.
“I think they did a wonderful job,” Richardson said. “It should alleviate everything.”
“They’re all thrilled,” Figliola added about what her neighbors think of the project. “Thankfully it worked out for everyone.”