Construction of new resiliency projects will better manage intense rainfall events

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New York Construction News staff writer

NYC’s Cloudburst Program is expanding to four new neighborhoods.

The program constructs clustered stormwater management projects in flood-prone communities — to four new neighborhoods, a major milestone in the city’s continued resiliency efforts to better prepare for intense rainfall events is supported with about $400 million in capital funds for specially designed, built, and engineered infrastructure projects. Corona and Kissena Park, Queens, Parkchester, Bronx, and East New York, Brooklyn are included.

“Four months ago, DEP Commissioner Aggarwala and I announced our plans for rainfall management, to protect our city and prevent future tragedies like what we saw during Hurricane Ida,” said Mayor Adams. “Today, we are pleased to announce a significant milestone in that plan.

“This $400 million investment in stormwater management projects cement New York City’s status as a national and global leader in green infrastructure, and shows our commitment to protecting New Yorkers from disastrous floods.”

Construction has started in three neighborhoods: South Jamaica and St. Albans, Queens and East Harlem, Manhattan. The selection process used a framework that examined historic and future stormwater flooding hotspots, existing city projects, environmental justice areas, and social factors that may increase vulnerability to stormwater flooding.

Construction on the four new sites is expected to begin in 2025.

In the past year, the city has finished construction on 2,300 new curbside rain gardens and started construction on another 1,000 and completed four new Bluebelts, and has deployed 31 FloodNet sensors in all five boroughs and will increase the number of sensors to 500 over the next five years.

“DDC builds thousands of pieces of green infrastructure every year, such as infiltration basins that divert stormwater away from city sewers, and we’re developing other approaches such as porous concrete that can be integrated into a comprehensive neighborhood-wide approach to cloudburst management,” said DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley. “Mayor Adams has called for capital process reform and I renew that call for resiliency projects so we can use taxpayer funds most efficiently as we approach these multi-faceted infrastructure projects.”

An eighth neighborhood has also been chosen in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and the city is pursuing available funding options while planning projects there. More than two dozen additional locations are also being evaluated for inclusion in the Cloudburst Program. DEP will continue to aggressively apply for federal funding to support this vital work and expand this critical program.

Funding will allow the DEP to install innovative and adaptive methods of absorbing, storing, and transferring stormwater to prevent flooding during a “cloudburst” that can typically damage property, disrupt critical infrastructure, and pollute New York’s rivers and harbor. The Cloudburst Program incorporates grey and green infrastructure, as well as open spaces, to store excess stormwater until torrential rains pass and there is sufficient capacity in the neighborhood drainage system to better manage it.

Construction on the four new sites is expected to begin in 2025.

In the past year, the city has finished construction on 2,300 new curbside rain gardens and started construction on another 1,000 and completed four new Bluebelts, and has deployed 31 FloodNet sensors in all five boroughs and will increase the number of sensors to 500 over the next five years.

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