The flushing tunnel and pumping station that helped transform water quality in the Gowanus Canal are scheduled for a bit of a makeover of their own.
Officials this week briefed the Public Safety/Environmental Protection Committee of Community Board 6 on the architectural plans for the $130 million project.
“It’s been a long journey,” said Dennis Koehler, vice president with Dvirka and Bartilucci, an engineering firm contracted by the city’s Department of Environmental Protection to do the work back in 2006.
The pumping station building, located at the foot of the canal at Butler Street between Bond and Nevins streets, and an adjacent service building will be rebuilt, while the flushing tunnel building and the gatehouse will be restored, officials said.
Built in 1911, the flushing tunnel circulated water in and out of the canal to and from New York Harbor. It operated until the 1960s, and was reactivated in 1999.
The designs are expected to be completed in June. Construction will start nine months to a year after that, according to Stanley Joseph, the DEP’s project manager,
Richard Lopez, an architect with Gannett Fleming Engineers, subcontracted by Dvirka and Bartilucci, said that DEP’s philosophy for the project’s aesthetics is to “make new buildings look new, and old buildings look old.”
“To make sure the community understands they are working in the area and getting things done,’ he told the committee, gathered inside 621 Degraw Street, the headquarters of the Fifth Avenue Committee, a not for profit developer of affordable housing.
The new building will be built of modular stainless steel panels, which are removable, making maintenance easier, Lopez said.
The flushing tunnel building will get a facelift, with new louvers, clean brick and limestone, and a host of repairs scheduled.
Lighting designer Domingo Gonzalez said his task was to find a lighting system that “celebrated the building’s history
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