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Country Club getting long-awaited sewer upgrade

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The severe flooding in a small section of Country Club will soon be a thing of the past.

Within the next few months the city Department of Environmental Conservation will begin a roughly $2 million project to extend a storm sewer and replace the aging water main to the east side of the Throgs Neck Expressway. The work is an infrastructure upgrade aimed at alleviating the ponding and flooding conditions in the area.

“We and many in the County Club community have advocated for this for a long time,” said Community Board 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns. “The board is gratified to note the project is starting up, and upon completion we expect the homeowners will have a drainage system in that area that is highly functioning.”

Water and sewer lines will be upgraded along Fairfax and Ellsworth avenues, between Waterbury and Fairmount avenues, and along Baisley Avenue, from Fairfax to Throgmorton. According to officials with the city Department of Design and Construction, the project will focus on increasing connections of the lines, and sections of the sewers will be replaced only if needed.

“One group (of storm water lines) will connect to another group, which will eventually lead to the ocean,” said DDC spokesman Craig Chin. “We’re connecting all the groups in that one area to one outflow.”

Construction should begin by spring 2011, and the city expects to have it fully completed by spring 2012. Officials with the DDC said there will be some temporary water shutoffs, but residents will be notified beforehand, and the city will make accommodations for anyone with special needs.

The flooding has been a major issue in the southwest section of Country Club for decades, and the community board put the project at the top of the list for their annual budget request for the past four years, Kearns said.

According to Marcia Pavlica, County Club Civic Association president, with every major rain underground creeks would overflow, sending water all over drive-ways and roads. The problem is so bad that occasionally storm water spills onto Fairfax Avenue like a fountain, Pavlica said.

“Our dog used to have a lot of fun running through all the puddles, catching the fish swimming down people’s driveways,” she said. “This new sewer is supposed to be able to handle the extreme amounts of storm water and not create any overflow, like we have with the existing combined sewer.”

She said the flooding has been pretty severe since the 1970s, and the cityoriginally planned to address the issues in a 1990 capital improvement project. While there have been a few projects in the area aimed at fixing the flooding, the problems have continued to be severe.

“They needed it badly and we’ve been waiting a great deal of time for it,” she said.

After the project is completed, the city is planning to continue the project down Waterbury Avenue to Valhalla Drive. The project is scheduled for fiscal year 2012.

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