NYC Set to Begin Largest Ever Expansion of the Bluebelt System on Staten Island
$48 Million Project in the Woodrow Area Will Add Catch Basins and Storm Sewers to Reduce Street Flooding, Build New Wetlands and Allow Nearly 600 Homes to Connect to the City Sewer System
(NEW YORK, NY – April 15, 2014) – New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd and Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Deputy Commissioner Eric Macfarlane today announced that the largest ever expansion of the Staten Island Bluebelt will begin in the South Shore’s Woodrow area later this spring.
Currently, very few streets in this area are equipped with catch basins or storm sewers and roadway flooding often occurs during heavy rain storms. The $48 million infrastructure upgrade will add more than three miles of storm sewers, install hundreds of catch basins, replace existing water mains, and include the largest ever expansion of the Bluebelt system. The catch basins will allow precipitation to drain from the roadways into the new storm sewers which will then direct it to the Bluebelt wetland where it will be naturally filtered to protect the environment. In addition, four miles of new sanitary sewers will be installed that will allow nearly 600 homes to connect to the City sewer system and discontinue the use of septic tanks.
The project, which is expected to be completed in the fall of 2017, is being funded by DEP and will be managed by DDC.
The installation of 15,059 linear feet of new storm sewers, 197 catch basins and 133 manholes will help to better manage the precipitation that falls in the area and reduce localized flooding. In addition, 23,278 linear feet of new sanitary sewers will allow 590 homes to connect to the City’s sewer system and discontinue the use of septic tanks.
The award winning Bluebelt program preserves natural drainage corridors such as streams and ponds, and optimizes them to help control and filter stormwater. As part of this project, the stormwater that is collected from local roadways will be directed to a new wetland that will be built on City-owned property at the east end of Sheldon Avenue. The work will include the planting of 723 canopy trees, 166 shrubs, 36,850 plants and wildflowers, and 115,000 square feet of seeding. The Bluebelt will hold and naturally filter the stormwater before it eventually drains into the Arthur Kill.
Over the last ten years DEP has built Bluebelts for approximately one third of Staten Island’s land area. In the South Richmond and mid-Island areas, the City has purchased approximately 400 acres of wetland property for Bluebelts that provide drainage for 19 watersheds, covering about 14,000 acres. The Bluebelts also provide important open spaces and serve as a habitat for diverse wildlife. Expanding the use of Bluebelts to reduce flooding and improve the water quality of New York Harbor is one of the operational goals outlined in Strategy 2011-2014, a far-reaching strategic plan that lays out 100 distinct initiatives to make DEP the safest, most efficient, cost-effective, and transparent water utility in the nation.
For more information, visit the NYCDEP website.