NEWARK, NJ  - The city is promising that a $5.3 million project will bring relief to commuters and residents who have endured flooding on Frelinghuysen and Meeker avenues for years.

The Queen Ditch Project created a concrete culvert and trash netting facility to prevent debris and litter from entering surrounding waterways. Neighboring wetlands and the drainage facilities known as "Queen Ditch" were also restored, the city said.

“Thanks to hard work by our contractors and excellent partnerships with state and federal agencies, we will no longer have to endure the spectacle of sunken cars on Frelinghuysen Avenue and first responders rescuing them in rubber rafts,” Mayor Ras Baraka said in a statement. “We will gain a safer, cleaner, and stronger South Ward from this project.”

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The areas addressed were along the industrial corridor at the intersection at Frelinghuysen Avenue and Nobel Street and the Meeker Avenue underpass along Route 22.

Residents and the Newark Department of Public Safety are all too familiar with flooding in this area. First responders have had to rescue drivers caught in the rising waters along Frelinghuysen Avenue during storms.

Repairs to some roads were also made during the project, the city said.

The city collaborated with the state and federal environmental agencies and the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank. The federal Environmental Protection Agency also provided grants for the project.

“We are very pleased to have met the challenges for this important project,” said Newark Water & Sewer Utilities Director Andrea Adebowale in a statement. “Construction was completed under budget with minimal delays and impacts to adjoining property owners.”

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