WOODROW — A $48 million expansion to Staten Island's Bluebelt that exists to help reduce flooding has won a sustainability award, only the second project in the city to get the honor.
The Woodrow Bluebelt expansion — which will create a new wetland at Sheldon Avenue — was given an Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) Envision Silver award that recognizes projects that improve the sustainability and resiliency of areas, the city announced.
"The Bluebelt system has proven to be an environmentally sustainable and cost effective way to manage stormwater drainage in Staten Island, while preserving and enhancing beautiful wetland ecosystems," Department of Design and Construction commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora said in a statement.
"We’re very pleased to partner with DEP to help the people of Staten Island and we are honored to collect our first Envision Award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure."
The Bluebelt expansion will add more than three miles of new sewers and catch basins to the area, replace water mains and allow nearly 600 homes to tap into the city's sewage system, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.
Crews will also plant new trees, shrubs, plants and wildflowers on city-owned property at Sheldon Avenue to create new wetlands area that will drain and naturally filter storm water, the DEP said.
Officials hope the project will help curb roadway flooding in the neighborhood.
Construction of the project, which is managed by the DDC and funded by the DEP, is expected to finish this fall, according to the DDC.
The only other city project to get the award was an upgrade to Brooklyn's 26th Ward Wastewater Treatment plant which won it in 2015.
To win the award, projects undergo a review of 60 criteria by ISI.