2010-11-05 / Top Stories

Marshall Pushes Ahead On BC Flooding Issue

By Miriam Rosenberg

Despite the city’s refusal to declare the flooding in Broad Channel on West 12 Road an emergency, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall is pushing forward with the design phase of the project to alleviate the problem.

“The borough president has registered the contract with the Comptroller’s officer,” said Marshall’s representative, Dan Andrews. “There was a snag that we couldn’t get the designation of an emergency, but the design has begun.”

The design team, RBAGroup, is currently working on the preliminary plans. Andrews said that it is possible that RBA could turn in the plans by the first week in December.

Marshall is also working with the city’s Department of Design and Construction to determine a timeline for the much-needed project.

In May at a press conference on West 12 Road, Marshall announced that she had allocated $24 million to be included in this year’s city budget to begin the work.

The commissioner for the New York City Department of Transportation, Maura McCarty, said at the time that a bulkhead was to be constructed this past summer on West 12 Road. But, she also said “it was not going to fix the whole problem.” She added, “We have to do a design of the whole system before we figure out how we can address, on a permanent basis, the flooding in the streets of the area.”

All of this hinged on the city declaring an emergency situation on West 12 Road – something that did not happen.

Andrews said that the emergency designation was not granted because “the counsel felt it didn’t meet the emergency threshold.”

This latest postponement is the fourth to hit the project. After three postponements, including setting a 2015 date for construction, Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer said enough is enough and enlisted Marshall’s help by bringing together advocates for the community for a meeting in the borough president’s office. This led to the $24 million allocation and the West 12 Road announcement in May.

“The borough president [pledges] to work with residents until the project is concluded,” said Andrews.

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