After being held up due to a drainage study and dropped from the 2016 capital budget, repair work on West Broadway, originally scheduled to begin last year, was expected to start this week with the major renovations planned for next year, Nassau County officials announced on July 6.
Residents have been waiting years for something to be done about the condition of one of the area’s busiest streets.
At a June 6 town meeting at the Hewlett-Woodmere Public Library, County Legislator Howard Kopel (R- Lawrence) said, “It would have been exceedingly wasteful and foolhardy to tear up sections of West Broadway while that study was going on and then potentially having to tear up parts of it again after repairing it.”
Dozens of residents packed into the library’s Boehm Meeting Room to voice their concerns about the road. Apart from the derogated state of the street, people also wanted the sidewalks and curbs repaired and excess utility poles that have been left up after being taken out of use.
“Both Legislator [Denise] Ford and I are glad they’re getting around to it,” Kopel said, after being informed of the project news. “I hope that it’s going to meet the expectations of the community.”
Ahron Rosenthal, a member of the Five Towns Beautification and Safety Improvement Committee, has been advocating for this for years. “It’s very exciting,” he said, “we’re very happy that they plan to move ahead within the week.”
Rosenthal noted that the statement from Mangano only mentioned resurfacing. He hopes this is just the first step, and that the sidewalks and curbs will be done in the future. “They also started taking down some poles, but stopped,” he said.
Kopel and Ford, a Republican from Long Beach, said at that meeting that the poles are the responsibility of the last company to use them, which in most cases here, is Verizon. They did promise to pressure these companies to take them down, and told everyone to contact the 4th Precinct if any appear to be in danger of falling.
Community members have pointed to the broken curbs and sidewalks as safety hazard for pedestrians. “There are some places [on West Broadway] where you wonder if there was ever a curb there,” Ford said.
Town of Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino expressed his support for the project, and praised his fellow Republicans.
“Glad that West Broadway, a major artery in the Five Towns, is going to be repaved,” he wrote on Facebook. “Hats off to Legislator Howard J. Kopel and Legislator Denise Ford for getting it done.”
Residents are eager for the work to get under way, but after years of waiting they lean towards being somewhat skeptical. “I want to be positive because they are addressing it,” Rosenthal said, “but it’s not the first press release we’ve gotten about the work being done.”
Mangano also noted the importance of West Broadway as a primary Five Towns roadway, and said the upgrades should reduce a recurring issue. “These improvements will help mitigate flooding concerns, while restoring the roadway for commuters,” he said in the news release.