Folks have been asking what is going on with all this street construction work in northern Maspeth/Woodside. We no sooner get finished with the Calamus Avenue combined sewer project that lasted about four years, then we hear certain streets are getting an "accelerated water/sewer main project". Now, COMET started getting calls from folks in the vicinity of 71st Street/52nd Avenue asking what is happening in their area. Driveways are being blocked, streets are being closed and a "notice" to homeowners is being placed in their mailbox by National Grid just a few minutes before work starts. No advance notice.
We reached out to Assemblyman Barnwell's office for answers. Below are the questions asked by Assemblyman Barnwell's office and National Grid's response and attachments.
We believe it's important that not only residents on the affected block know what's going on, but the surrounding residents need to know as well.
Roe Daraio, President
COMET Civic Association
1. Why wasn’t the community given at least 24 hours’ notice of the of the work? The permit was issued on the Tenth of July, that’s plenty of time to contact us so that we could’ve notified our constituents to prepare for any inconvenience caused by the work.
2. How long will this work take place? I see that the permit is valid until October, will it take three months to complete?
3. Where else in AD 30 will National Grid be replacing gas lines? When? Moving forward we’d like to be notified of all projects occurring in our district before they commence.
4. Will there be any outages for residents in the work areas? Is there any danger associated with this work to contractors/residents?
National Grid's Response
This project was held off for a while due to priority city projects being carried out first. The permits were reissued on July 10, but permits were ordered prior to that. National Grid does not notify 24 hours prior to the job starting because jobs can be held off due to unexpected circumstances. However, Construction Notification letters were mailed out to the residents living in that area about a month before the job started to inform them of the anticipated work (attached). A few residents reached out to the engineer earlier this week with concerns, which means they received these notifications.
Our Community Relations manager notified the Community Board of the work coming to the area. On Saturday, 07/14/17, Construction Notification Pamphlets were hand delivered by our contractor, Hallen Construction. On Tuesday, 07/17/18, the foreman in charge walked the site and informed each listed customer that construction would be starting the next day.
Regarding the duration of the project, considering this is a large project, it will take 2 to 3 months to complete. The notifications provide a standard of 90 days for completion. We try to complete each project in a safe manner, which sometimes can pose delays and further extend the duration of the project.
At National Grid, each engineer is responsible for informing the community through mailing construction notices and informing the community board which was carried out properly in this situation.
I, myself, try to do as much proactive outreach as possible. I cannot guarantee all construction notifications will pass through the AD 30 office. However, I will be happy to look into any specific projects you bring to my attention as a concern.
There is no danger associated with this work as this is work we are mandated to complete and perform regularly. We have an inspector onsite that supervises the work performed to ensure there are no incidents to the community or the workers. The inspector and the foremen in charge keep strict supervision.
I hope this answers your questions.
NYC Government Relations