A recently completed, $16.6 million infrastructure project in Queens used porous pavement to allow nearly 1.3 million gallons of stormwater to be absorbed back into the ground instead of flowing into the sewer system, according to a June 13 press release sent to Construction Dive.
The project began construction in March 2021, according to the release, which rebuilt Beach 108th Street in Rockaway, Queens, from Beach Channel Drive to Shore Front Parkway.
The project helped rebuild an area hit by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, which killed 44 people and caused an estimated $19 billion in damages.
In 2022, the city’s Department of Environmental Protection drafted new stormwater requirements for green infrastructure in future builds. The city’s Unified Stormwater Rule applies to projects that result in more than 5,000 square feet of impervious surface, according to environmental law firm Sive Paget Riesel.
The Queens project created more than 11,000 square feet of new permeable concrete slabs installed along the curbline. The slabs allow stormwater to drain through the concrete and into the ground below.
Rohit T. Aggarwala, New York City chief climate officer and DEP commissioner, said the concrete will help improve the health of Jamaica Bay and serves as a harbinger for similar applications in the city in the future.
“DEP’s stormwater regulations require new developments to manage the rain and snow that falls on them with green infrastructure, and we’ll be seeing much more of these types of projects in the coming years,” Aggarwala said in the release.
Under the city’s Department of Environmental Protection’s Unified Stormwater Rule, which took effect in 2022, the use of green infrastructure will be required in projects similar to this one citywide, according to the release.
Through the course of the project, approximately 1,100 feet of existing storm sewers and 22 catch basins were repaired or replaced, according to the release, and an additional 140 feet of new storm sewers plus three new catch basins were added.
The project was sponsored by the state-level NY Rising Program and a partnership between the New York City Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice, various city departments and the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery.