Town of Hempstead officials hosted meetings last week at the Oceanside and Island Park libraries to provide residents with updates on various road- and drainage-improvement projects — most of which will break ground by summer’s end.
Officials announced that they had reached the end of the design phase for various projects in both areas, and will soon begin the bidding process for construction projects.
“Island Park and Oceanside residents have suffered through much since Superstorm Sandy and deserve real relief from flooding,” Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen said. “. . . I have been out in the community, explaining our new building plans and construction timeline, and I look forward to delivering results by rebuilding stronger, smarter and safer.”
Town of Hempstead spokesman Michael Fricchione said that many of the projects would begin, and be completed, this summer, while some may not be finished until next summer, depending on weather conditions and the length of the bidding process. The projects total $7.3 million and will be funded by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery.
Officials hosted a forum at the Oceanside Library on March 27 to provide residents with updates on plans for the hamlet. The work includes “detention” projects, which will include the installation of underground storm water containers and holding tanks that prevent polluted runoff from entering the water systems, as well as other green infrastructure projects to slow down and absorb the flow of rainfall by adding more grassy areas and vegetation. Those projects are slated for Moore, Fulton and Perry avenues, Hampton Road and Judith Lane.
The town also finished designs for a drainage project for Tinker Drive, Lawson Boulevard, Foxhurst Road, Seiffort Court, 4th Street and Waukena Avenue, aimed at reducing flooding.
In addition, town officials plan to raise several roads in the hamlet. The town has awarded contracts and has completed the design phase to raise Carrel Boulevard, Maxine Court, Cecelia Way, the eastern portion of Oceanside Road and Wright, Alice and Beatrice avenues. The town has also awarded a contract to raise Royal and Morland avenues, Fir, Grove, Louis and Stanton Places.
Town officials hosted a similar forum at the Island Park Public Library on March 28. Projects in the works include drainage improvements on Barnum Island and Harbor Isle. One major project entails the installation of underground check valves, to prevent water from flowing through the outfalls and coming into the street when the tide rises, while enabling water to filter outward.
The plans also include road raising and drainage capacity improvements at Broadway and Trafalgar Avenue, the southern portion of Harbor Isle and at California Place North. California Place South will undergo road raising, drainage improvements and check valve installations.
Since the aftermath of Sandy, residents have waited for road repairs and flood mitigation projects. Patricia Ambrosia, the president of the Island Park Civic Association, hosted several elected officials during the organization’s March 12 meeting in the hope of receiving project updates.
“There have been all these studies, and no actual work since the storm,” Ambrosia told the Herald after the meeting. “We have to start holding our officials, who we elected to represent us, accountable.”
According to the presentation by town officials, the projects’ goals were to upgrade the existing storm water conveyance system with larger pipes; raise the roadways; improve the quality of storm water by installing treatment systems at the Austin Boulevard and Trafalgar and Broadway project areas to capture sediment, oils and debris before discharging them into open waters.
Drainage system upgrades are scheduled for the southern end of Harbor Isle, including Sheridan Place, Island Parkway South, portions of Island Park Place and Washington Avenue. Harbor Isle drainage capacity improvements included a proposed 30-inch-diameter trunk line for increased storm capacity and the installation of catch basin inserts near Island Parkway, Island Park Place and Sheridan Place. The inserts are designed to capture pollutants, sediments, trash and debris.
Road-raising drainage system upgrades will also take place near the California Canal, at California Place North and South, Vanderbilt Place, New York Avenue, Seaview Avenue, Decatur Place, Sunset Avenue, Tuttle Place, Brennan Place, Backer Court, Petit Place and Fitzroy Place. Roads will also be raised near Lincoln Orens Middle School.
Officials began planning the projects with a design team last June. Thirty percent of the preliminary plans and engineering estimates were submitted to the town in September. Sixty percent of the plan was presented in February, and permit applications were submitted to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of State and the Army Corps of Engineers on March 8. The next step in the process will be to obtain permits and put the projects out to bid.
Fricchione said letters would be sent out and phone calls would be made to residents telling them when roadwork would be done near their homes and informing them how long repairs would take.