Sweet relief from flooding? Forest Hills hopes so, but some leaders aren't so sure.
On Thursday, the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Design and Construction announced the completion of a $24 million project catch basin project in Forest Hills. Designed to alleviate flooding at the interchange of the LIE and the Grand Central Parkway, the project has caused headaches for years.
“These new roadways, catch basins, and sewers will reduce flooding, improve water delivery, and yield a more attractive streetscape for the residents of Forest Hills,” said Eric MacFarlane, a Deputy Commissioner at the DDC.
The project added storm drains to major Forest Hills thoroughfares like 108th and 110th streets, 62nd Drive and Horace Harding Expressway.
The city installed 4,000 feet of storm sewer lines and 1,700 feet of sanitary sewer lines, along with dozens of manholes and catch basins.
In the process, they moved bus routes and resurfaced more than 20,000 square yards of roadway. It was, in short, a major headache that residents and local leaders are hoping will pay off.
Frank Gulluscio, District Manager of Community Board 6, expressed concern that the project may not be all it was cracked up to be.
"I'm happy that it's completed. I'm not happy with the fact that we still had flooding two weeks ago in that area," Gulluscio said. "I'm not sure if it helped or if it didn't."
Gulluscio added that he, along with City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz and state Sen. Joe Addabbo have written letters to the DEP asking them to take another look at storm drains and catch basins in the area.
"We're concerned about it," he added. "Too many businesses and too many homes have gotten hurt, and [flooding] is the kind of thing that insurance doesn't cover."