According to residents on 32nd Avenue between 146th and 148th streets in Flushing, contractors botched a repaving job by eliminating the curbs on both sides of the street.
Along much of the street, new asphalt that was laid down on the block recently is flush with – or in many cases overlaps – the existing curbs.
“We’ve got a disaster here,” said Tyler Cassel, president of the North Flushing Civic Association. “I drove down this street when it rained the other day, and there was ponding all along the street. I could have splashed people on the sidewalk for two blocks.”
Residents say that when it rains, water doesn’t run to the catch basins, but instead pools in large puddles in front of their home.
Last Thursday, homeowners held a press conference with State Senator Tony Avella calling on the city to fix the botched job. And on Friday, after about an inch of rain fell in the area, there were indeed large puddles all along the block.
“In heavy rainfall, they are going to have flooding in their basements,” predicted Avella. “The grade of the road is supposed to be that the water drains slowly to the curbline and then stormwater runs down the street to the catch basin.
“Well, it doesn’t take a genius to see that ain’t happening here,” he added.
Cassel said he drives along 32nd Avenue several times a day, and noticed something was wrong after the original street was stripped away – a process called milling – and before the new asphalt was applied.
“Usually when they mill streets, you have to zigzag your car around the manholes, and it’s usually milled down about four inches,” said Cassel, who said 32nd Avenue was only milled down about one inch.
Avella called on the Department of Transportation to force the contractor to fix the work.
The contractor should not be paid for this work, and the city should look at every other resurfacing job that this contractor has done,” he said. “If they did a bad job here, it’s a good bet they did a bad job someplace else.”
However, a DOT spokesperson said that before the job, the street and curbs were flush, and that the job only restored that. The work was intended to address the many utility cuts and general wear-and-tear that created uneven, bumpy surfaces
Avella and other residents also questioned why the repaving job was even done, as such work usually isn’t done in cold weather, but rather in late summer and early fall due to quality concerns.
“You don’t do paving [in the winter] no matter how good the weather is, because the weather could change in a heartbeat,” said Paul Graziano, who lives on 32nd Avenue.
The DOT spokesperson said while it isn't the usual time of the year for roadwork, the department does undertake strip paving projects along with addressing potholes during the winter.