ON Dec. 1, I broke ground on the initial phase of critical infrastructure work at Willets Point in Queens, including construction of a sanitary sewer main and reconstruction of a storm sewer and outfall.

These improvements, which constitute a $50 million investment, support the historic redevelopment of Willets Point, which has always lacked this basic infrastructure, and will allow for the creation of a vibrant new mixed-use neighborhood in Queens.

The work also represents a major first step in the environmental remediation of the long-contaminated site.

This major investment in infrastructure will create jobs, catalyze private sector investment, and lay the groundwork for New York City’s next great neighborhood.

These investments mark the first physical steps — after years of planning and working together with local leaders — in reimagining Willets Point as a vibrant commercial and residential community.

The benefits of this important infrastructure will include increased sewer capacity of the Willets Point area, improved water quality by treatment of sanitary flows through conveyance to a treatment plant, and the furtherance of the city’s efforts to redevelop the area.

The project supports PlaNYC’s goal of improving the quality of the city’s waterways and its guidance to pursue upgrades to sewer infrastructure by optimizing the existing sewer system and expanding the sewer network.

Infrastructure work is expected to cost approximately $50 million, provide over 350 construction or construction-related jobs, and both sewers will be completed in 2013.

The construction will primarily occur between the months of October through March to prevent any impacts during the baseball season at the adjacent Citi Field.

The city, in coordination with its construction manager for Willets Point chosen through a public procurement process, Hunter Roberts Construction Group, has selected Cruz Contractors, LLC to perform the necessary infrastructure upgrades.

The Willets Point Development Plan is a historic redevelopment effort that will transform an area previous generations have sought to change and improve.

The Plan will clean up the environment and help improve the quality of nearby waterways.

It will link this district in one of the most vibrant parts of Queens to basic infrastructure, and establish a major new mixed-income neighborhood and commercial destination that will create jobs and recapture billions in spending now lost to the suburbs.

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