Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Calls for DOT action after new bridge and apartment building cause storm flooding of Hillside and Carol Avenue homes

To the editor:

The following letter was sent to officials at the New York State Department of Transportation, Westchester County and the Village of Pelham.

I speak on behalf of homeowners living on Hillside and Carol Avenues, Village of Pelham, New York, Westchester County, on the east side of the Hutchinson River Parkway between Exits 5 and 5B (mile markers  5.6 – 5.7), near the MLK/Schwerner Memorial Bridge. My neighbors and I respectfully advocate that DOT project PIN-881655 be prioritized and expedited.

In 2018, the DOT reconstructed the MLK/Schwerner Bridge, raising its elevation, size and weight while altering the topography on the east side of the parkway. Additionally, Elk Realty LLC constructed Colonial Court, a 16-unit luxury apartment complex on the southeast corner of the bridge.  

These construction projects exacerbated flooding conditions on Hillside and Carol Avenues, as they:

  • Altered the slope of Carol Avenue, causing rainwater to bypass storm drains.
  • Amplified the recess in landscape along the east side of the parkway, by raising the level of the bridge and regrading to a steeper slope, causing water runoff to pool onto residential properties.
  • Removed plant life that absorbed flood waters on a county-owned lot leased by the DOT and the Colonial Court site.

Since the 2018 construction projects, Hillside and Carol Avenues have experienced flooding on a near bi-annual rate not previously seen. The lack of water retention systems or barriers on the east side of the parkway has left water with nowhere to go except our basements. The conditions undermine traffic safety, as passengers in flooded cars on the parkway walk through the vacant lot onto Carol Avenue. 

DOT’s website reflects that PIN-881655 is in development to mitigate flooding in this vicinity. The bidding process, however, is not slated to begin for two years with anticipated completion in late 2026. We simply cannot hang on for that long. The Village of Pelham has proposed a large-scale project to modernize its sewage and storm drain infrastructure. These plans, however, may worsen flooding on  Hillside/Carol without corresponding DOT improvements along the parkway to accommodate.  

My neighbors and I respectfully advocate for an accelerated timeframe for PIN-881655 and ask that an engineering team consider a water retention system that would expand the capacity of the river and provide an outlet for overflow. We ask that your team consider the installation of retention walls along the east side of the parkway and the restoration of the diverse ecosystems that existed before the 2018 projects.  

I write with support from Daniel Hidalgo and his daughter, Pamela Hidalgo, at 6 Hillside Ave., Andrea and Bertrand Spunberg at 221 Carol Ave., and Titus Alexander and his wife, Shiney Alexander, at 217 Carol Ave.

Bernard J. Eyth

225 Carol Ave.

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