Today’s news:

Almost done with Flushing Avenue

It has been five years in the making, but fans of the Flushing Avenue reconstruction will have to wait until September for the completion of the $40 million Department of Design and Construction project.

At a Community Board 1 Transportation Committee meeting on July 29 at the board’s district office (435 Graham Avenue, Williamsburg), DDC Project Manager Paul Kidder revealed that the project would be completed in four to six weeks, once a large water pipe is installed on the site.

“Phase Four is finished but we’re still waiting for Phase Three,” said Kidder.“It should be two to three weeks to install the pipes, and another two to three weeks for the restoration.”

The project, which consists of replacing old water and sewage pipes stretching 3.1 miles on Flushing Avenue from Cypress Avenue to the Manhattan Bridge, began in January 2004.The four-way street, which includes both heavy industry and residential development, has seen tremendous population increases over the past 10 years.Kidder believes that the reconstruction will add the necessary infrastructure to support the new growth in these neighborhoods.

“There’s a lot of new development here.We need to do it,” said Kidder.

The infrastructure includes water and sewage pipes, as well as new steel-faced curbs, tree plantings, street lighting and refurbished cement sidewalks.

“The lighting is better, the sidewalks are better, I like it,” said CB1 member Karen Nieves.

Teresa Toro, chair of the CB 1 Transportation Committee, proposed an event to officially celebrate the completion of the project, possibly descending into a manhole under Flushing Avenue while wearing a hard hat.

When asked what kinds of creatures Kidder had encountered while working underground in the city’s sewer systems, Kidder explained that city agencies install cameras to videotape the refuse that floats through a complex network of sewage and water pipes.He said he never spotted any eels, alligators, or mutant hybrid fish.

“When you go underground, you never know what you’re going to find,” said Kidder.

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