By Gabriela Resto-Montero
MIDTOWN EAST — A plan to install a water main along E. 56th Street instead of E. 61st street has Community Board 6 up in arms and urging residents to attend a public hearing on the construction this week.
Neighbors say construction of the water main below E. 56th Street, between First and Third Avenues, will cause chaos on a stretch of road already burdened with two school construction projects, a residential building project and traffic from the Queensboro Bridge.
In a letter encouraging residents to attend the meeting scheduled for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at St. Peter's Church on E. 54th Street., board chair Mark Thompson said the construction would "negatively impact the community's quality of life."
The Department of Environmental Protection outlined construction of the water main along First Avenue to E. 61st Street to connect to the E. 59th Street pipe running from First Avenue to Third Avenue, in plans approved by Community Board 6 dating to 2006.
"Without providing us any detailed analysis, your agency recently announced that it had halted this plan and suggested that an alternate route on E. 56th Street is preferred over E. 61st Street," wrote elected officials including Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney to Cas Holloway, commissioner of the DEP, in a letter.
Officials from the DEP and Department of Design and Construction are expected to speak at the hearing.
Construction on the E. 59th Street segment of the project is expected to begin this summer and take three years to complete. The timetable for construction of the E. 56th Street segment of the water main was not yet available.