Floral Park officials are starting work on a $1.75 million construction project that will add larger storm drain pipes beneath the streets on the village’s West End.
The project will take months to complete and will include a new 5-acre water basin at Belmont Park that collects excess rainwater. When complete, it will eliminate flooding that sometimes occurs in residents’ homes and backyards after significant rainfall, said former Mayor Thomas Tweedy, who was in office when the village decided to undertake the project.
“This is giving them peace of mind, knowing they can go to sleep at night and, if it rains, their house won’t be flooded,” he said.
Tweedy said Nassau County is using money provided by New York State for the project. Village officials have sent final engineering drawings to Albany for state approval. Once those documents are cleared, the work will begin.
The project mirrors an effort officials completed last year on the village’s South Side. Mineola-based Valente Contracting was hired to replace 18-inch storm drainage pipes with 30-inch pipes. The $300,000 work was part of a larger $1.9 million construction effort to revamp Lowell and Raff avenues.
Tweedy said the $300,000 project was completed last May and almost immediately alleviated flooding problems in that area.
“You know how I knew it worked?” Tweedy said. “Because my phone didn’t ring. They [affected residents] all had my number, and it didn’t ring.”
The upcoming storm drain project is slightly different from last year’s effort. Instead of 30-inch pipes, some areas will be getting 36-inch or 48-inch replacements. Larger pipes will mean more rainwater can rush through faster and if necessary make its way into the larger Nassau County storm drainage system. The new basin at Belmont Park will act as a holding tank and keep water off the roads and residential streets.
Once finished, the construction will benefit about 400 homes and reduce flooding at 25 properties, Tweedy said.
Mayor Dominick Longobardi said it is too soon to say how long the project will take to finish because it is unclear whether workers will build the basin first and then replace the pipe, or do both projects at the same time.
Plans for larger storm drain pipes came as good news for residents of the neighborhood.
Perry Criscitelli, a 50-year Floral Park resident and president of the village’s West End Civic Association, said the flooding hits Daisy, Primrose and Clover avenues the hardest. He said those areas haven’t seen massive flooding in years, partly because the village has installed sewer grates on the streets and curbs.