Maspeth and Woodside residents have been angered over months of delays in the reconstruction of sewers under Calamus Avenue and 69th Street — and they were even more upset on Thursday night, when they learned the project’s completion is still 15 months away.
Nearly 50 concerned residents of the effected neighborhoods filled the parish hall of St. Mary’s of Winfield on Thursday night to hear why the Calamus Avenue Sewer Project — which has left Calamus Avenue and the surrounding areas a virtual mine field of potholes and craters, detoured the Q47 bus for nearly three years, and been a headache for anyone trying to commute in the area — has yet to move forward.
Ali Mallick, assistant commissioner for the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) North Queens Construction, clarified what documents weren’t accurate and why that was such a major problem for the project. The delays have pushed back the projected completion of the project to May of 2018.
“When I took over about a year ago, I found out that this project was dead, nothing was happening on the project,” Mallick said. “And there were problems with the design due to some unforeseen conditions in the ground because the drawings that we had did not match what was in the ground, so we had to do a major redesign with the work.”
Understanding the communities’ frustrations, Mallick and the DDC are looking at ways to work with the contractor to have the workers expand their work day and even work on some weekends to hopefully expedite the construction process and get the job done before the end of this year.
Other members of the DDC, Department of Transportation (DOT), and the Department of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were on hand to listen and respond to the residents’ concerns.
Noticeably absent from the meeting was a representative from the MTA. Several of the local elected officials reached out to the MTA, alerting them of the meeting and asking them to send a representative.