To mitigate flooding concerns, Islip Housing Authority has recently begun work to implement green infrastructure improvements to Penataquit Creek running through Penataquit Village, just off Union Boulevard. There have been instances in the past where the water in the creek gets so high that the flooding leaks onto Union Boulevard, a major throughway in Bay Shore.
“There is usually at a minimum road flooding during storms and sometimes more serious,” said Richard Wankel, the housing authority’s executive director. “We have had occasion wherein the flooding comes over the bank of the creek.
“Although the project is within our complex, flooding extending out to Union Boulevard at the edge of the complex where the creek continues can impact travel and access potentially for the community and logically down creek into Bay Shore. There is only one road in [or] out, both of which are intersected by the creek.”
Penataquit Village is a 134-unit low-income HUD housing development for elderly and disabled individuals.
“Through drainage improvements, the effort will help filter pollutants and reduce flooding, allowing Penataquit Village residents to access evacuation routes, while preserving access into the development for first responders,” reads a press release disseminated by Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery on Jan. 27.
The project was first brought to the attention of the housing authority by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery in the summer of 2016, when GOSR offered to fully fund the project, a $600,000 price tag.
“There is no cost to the Housing Authority in HUD funds or local funds,” Wankel said. “The project is entirely funded by GOSR.”
This is when the application process, identification and the feasibility study began. Engineering, design, review and bidding began to fold out in January 2017, and were of primary focus through September 2019. The housing authority board awarded the construction contract last fall, and GOSR subsequently approved the awarded contract.
Last month, the shovel finally hit the ground on a storm resiliency project that remained in stages preliminary to construction for more than three years. The current construction being done is within the complex itself. Once the most potential months for snow have passed, some time in March, the construction will move to Millpond Lane, the horseshoe-shaped road that circumnavigates the complex.
Wankel expressed that the block in the road would not be a detour, since traffic can be directed back both ways to the main road considering the horseshoe shape of the road. He also ensured that a road blockage would not be present for more than a day or two.
Alana Agosto, executive director of NY Rising Community Reconstruction and Infrastructure Programs for GOSR, said that the project fits the qualifications for this state funding.
“The state worked with 66 committees to take an inventory of local needs and to develop regionally inspired strategies to drive recovery and change. As a result of this unparalleled process, and in partnership with sub-recipients, GOSR has successfully implemented more than 100 projects designed by New Yorkers for New Yorkers,” she explained
WHAT’S BEING DONE
- Building bioswale around the creek. Bioswale implies channels designed to concentrate and convey storm water runoff while removing debris and pollution. Essentially, they are vegetating the surroundings of the creek.
- Installing drainage pipes with filters that sift out contaminants.
- In the roadways, moving asphalt and putting in pavers.. n