Can residents help fix Croton piping problem?

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After learning that the Department of Environmental Protection was considering ripping up Sedgwick Avenue to lay pipeline from the Croton Water Treatment Plant to Ward’s Island, residents got an idea: Why not combine the project with the Putnam Greenway?

Last year, the DEP ran into problems with a Webster Avenue route when it discovered old trolley tracks beneath the earth. Instead of following through with the original plan, the DEP announced it would pursue a route down Sedgwick Avenue instead.

Laying the pipeline for by-product of water filtration chemicals down Webster Avenue to the Hunt’s Point Wastewater Treatment Plant would cost an additional $30 million, officials said. But at Sedgwick Avenue, the pipeline could connect to an existing sewer interceptor 3.5 miles from Croton and avoid the Webster Avenue route’s 7-mile-stretch between Croton and Hunt’s Point. 

But at a Feb. 17 Croton Filtration Monitoring Committee meeting, residents expressed concerns over ripping up Sedgwick Avenue. Father Richard Gorman, the committee’s chairman and chairman of Community Board 12, as well as Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, strongly urged the DEP to consider routes that would be less disruptive to residents and schools in Community Boards 7 and 8.

Then, Anne Marie Garti, a resident of Sedgwick Avenue and the president of the Jerome Park Conservancy, unleashed her idea. She suggested that the DEP combine the construction of the pipeline with the Parks Department’s Putnam Greenway. 

“Maybe these projects should be thought of together,” she said, urging the DEP and the Parks Department, represented by Bronx Borough Commissioner Hector Aponte, to think about the project from an “inter-agency point of view.”

“Wait, that might save money. We can’t do that,” Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz quipped.

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