City to spend millions on ‘very intense’ Gerritsen Beach reconstruction

City to spend millions on ‘very intense’ Gerritsen Beach reconstruction
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Gerritsen Beach is being flooded with cash.

The city will be spending big on a multi-year effort to renovate the roads of Gerritsen Beach.

Slated to be completed in the summer of 2022, the $6.6 million project will fix the streets that have deteriorated in recent years, according to one local civic leader.

“The streets were bad before Hurricane Sandy, but now there’s sinkholes and water main breaks popping up all over the place,” said John Douglas, president of Gerritsen Beach Cares.

The project, which will begin in the coming months, will focus on retrofitting the infrastructure around the area to better deal with storms and flooding, according to a rep with the Department of Design and Construction.

“The purpose of the project is to restore streets and to incorporate mitigation elements as appropriate, to ensure long-term climate resiliency, which includes repaving roads, storm sewer installation, water main replacements, and sanitary sewers,” said Shoshana Khan.

Initially planned in 2013, the project had been long delayed, as the city opted to wait for completion of the extensive amount of construction on residential property in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, according to Douglas.

“They didn’t want to repair the roads, only to have them immediately torn up by big, heavy construction equipment,” he said.

Douglas said the project was becoming increasingly necessary, as residents have experienced flooding issues across the low-lying waterfront neighborhood.

“We have a lot of ponding issues around here, because the streets weren’t paved right in the first place. So, a lot of people have water pooling up in front of their houses.”

While Douglas welcomed the effort to restore the local infrastructure, he said he’s worried about the effect on the neighborhood of years-long heavy construction on the unusually narrow Gerritsen streets.

“It’s going to be very intense work,” he said. “The streets around here are very narrow, which makes construction burdensome. It’s going to be cramped.”

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at twitter.com/aidangraham95.