2013-11-22 / Top Stories

Bay 32nd Street Looks Like A Bay

Flooding Nothing New
By Miriam Rosenberg

The corner of Bay 32nd and Bessemund Avenue turns into a lake during heavy rains. Photo courtesy Martin Sherman The corner of Bay 32nd and Bessemund Avenue turns into a lake during heavy rains. Photo courtesy Martin Sherman First a mistake in design halted a much needed sewer job and now the money allocated for it has somehow disappeared. Residents of Bessemund Avenue and Bay 32nd Street in Bayswater had waited decades for sewers to be installed so that their streets do not turn into lakes when it rains. Now they are in limbo waiting for the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) to get their act together.

Councilman Donovan Richards, residents and community leaders stood at the corner of Bay 32nd Street and Bessemund Avenue on November 8th to demand relief when heavy rains flood their streets.

“Nearly two months ago we toured this very area with DDC and they promised that they would restart this project and provide some temporary relief for these homeowners,” said Richards. “Where is this temporary relief? I don’t see any.”

Richards added he was told recently by DDC representatives that “Something had happened to the money and the money needed to be reallocated to this project.”

While the councilman was assured the project was of top priority, he added, “The money should never have disappeared in the first place.”

Jonathan Gaska, the district manager for community board 14 gave some background on the design problem. Gaska explained that DDC had to stop the project because of a design issue which has now been fixed. “They said after that ‘“ we’re good to go,’” said Gaska. “That was in the beginning of the summer they told us this... They’ve certainly have not told us if there are any other problems.”

Martin Sherman moved into his home 50 years ago.

“It’s more than 40 years we were promised sewers,” said Sherman. “Fifty years later they decided they were going to give us sewers. However they stopped in the middle. And now that they stopped in the middle whatever little sewers we had here don’t take the water. It automatically backs up into our house.”

Enid Glabman, the president of the Bayswater Civic Association, said “These homeowners, when they moved in over 40 years ago, were promised sewers. Their promises haven’t been fulfilled. We’re not getting action.”

Senator James Sanders Jr. was represented by his constituent liaison and area resident Lynette Shelborne- Barfield. “On any given rainy day we, as residents, are detoured because there’s several feet of rain and water.” She added there is also a problem of sewage backup. “We want this mess resolved now. It is serious.”

According to the DDC website the sewer project on Bessemund Avenue between Bay 32nd and Bay 30th Streets is part of a larger, almost $11.5 million project along Bay 32nd Street and adjacent areas.

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