On Sept. 28 at Silver Lake Park in Baldwin, state and county officials, joined by construction workers, announced the start of more than $20 million in flood-prevention and resiliency projects in the county, including $1.75 million for improvements to Baldwin’s Silver Lake Park, its watershed and the surrounding neighborhood to prevent damage during major storms.
The Silver Park Drainage Project involves elevating the perimeter walkway of Silver Lake Park, installing tidal gates on Silver Lake’s outfalls, constructing a new storm-water treatment device between Lofts Pond and the natural channel of Parsonage Creek, and providing a fish passage to Caroline's Pond. The project is expected to be completed in 2022.
“I’m confident that by building safer, stronger and smarter, we will protect lives, property values, economic development and continue to live on this beautiful island,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, a Democrat from Baldwin who is running for re-election.
The project is one of five that the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery has awarded through the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program. Other projects include installing drains and check valves and increasing the diameter of pipes in Lawrence, a $9.18 million project; reconstructing a drainage system in East Rockaway and Bay Park, at $6.08 million; constructing a new pump station in Cedarhurst, at $2.15 million; and adding in-line check valves and drainage structures in Lido Beach and Point Lookout, at $1.23 million.
State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat who is running for county district attorney, spoke about how in Long Beach daily life is often disrupted by heavy rain. He said members of the Fire Department have had to meet parents in front of schools so children can be passed through car windows onto dry ground. “A dollar spent in prevention will save double spending when it’s time…to fix all the damage,” he said.
On April 12, the County Legislature’s Rules Committee unanimously awarded the Silver Lake Park contract to D.P. Civil Inc., whose $1.95 million bid was 18 percent higher than the engineer’s estimate, but was still the lowest among seven bids—the second lowest being from a minority-owned business, JRCRUZ Construction.
D.P. Civil has also been awarded other projects this year, including the $6.1 million GSOR project in East Rockaway and Bay Park and a $1.6 million resurfacing and streetscaping in Bellmore.
Because county estimates placed the full cost of the project at $2.55 million, on that same day the legislative committee also advanced resolutions to amend the 2019 capital plan to reflect current cost projections and authorize the county to pursue the $294,318 gap in bonding specifically related to the Silver Lake project as part of a larger $49.3 million bond, acquired by Change Healthcare Inc., soon to merge with UnitedHealth Group Inc.
The remaining capital will be used for the other GSOR projects, as well as the Centennial Park project, the Bellmore Avenue streetscape, the Manorhaven Project, ambulance fleet retrofitting, county alarms and security systems, and addressing buildings with Permanent Supportive Housing violations.
GOSR, New York State Homes and Community Renewal, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development conducted an environmental assessment in 2019 and determined that the Silver Lake project would not pose a significant threat to the local environment.
Besides reducing the flood risk, the project will also remove invasive plants, reconstruct walkways and landscape the perimeter, fostering a natural habitat and improving aesthetics.
The Silver Lake Drainage Project has been in the works since 2016, described as a two-phased project and deemed a priority by the county. Nassau officials held community outreach meetings on it.
The first request for proposals was issued in September 2016. In 2018, LMKA completed initial design work. The project was picked up again in 2020, when the state finally awarded the funds and the project received Nassau Interim Finance Authority approval.
Silver Lake Park has been the site of previous improvement projects, including in 2007 when it was dredged and rotted bulkheads were replaced.