The first thing you notice is a new pavement that stretches for a mile along Hook Creek Boulevard in Rosedale, Queens.
New drains and pipes are underneath the road as bigger curbs rise from the street.
The city has wrapped up a $17 million dollar project along a 10-block stretch of the neighborhood which has had a problem with flooding. It took about three years and crews finished two months early.
Thirty-five new catch basins were installed and nine existing ones were replaced to capture stormwater and direct it to the new storm sewers. Thirty more trees were planted.
Neighbors in the immediate area say they don’t have to worry anymore. But further down the road, the puddles and streams appear during downpours.
The area is a model for future projects and it represents the challenge in a city with 6,000 miles of roads.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says the project on Hook Creek Boulevard helped.
“But that was one neighborhood, one area. To do the whole city, to rework all our sewers for this new reality is probably over $100 billion dollars, that’s only going to happen with a lot of federal support,” he said.
Forty-three street improvement projects are on the books in Southeast Queens totaling $2.2 billion. Sixteen are completed, five are in construction and 11 are in design phase.
The big picture is a new storm & extreme weather plan. City representatives are going door-to-door in at-risk neighborhoods to make sure people are aware of the possible impacts.
The mayor is calling for better alerts and warnings, an action plan for basement apartments, and to reimagine sewage and drainage systems.
Recent federal spending packages on infrastructure include many improvement projects to address climate change.