Water Authority of Great Neck North embarks on water main replacements

Water Authority of Great Neck North embarks on water main replacements
The Water Authority of Great Neck North's project aims to replace several water mains to boost water capacity and service. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

The Water Authority of Great Neck North will begin a “major water main replacement and hydrant change out project” on Tuesday after weather postponed the project from its original start date of April 9.

The $5.2 million project will install new water mains on portions of Cedar Drive, Ridge Drive, South Circle, Shore Drive, Clover Drive, Orchard Road, Country Place, Robin Way, Parkside Drive, and Brookbridge, as well as the entirety of Ash Place and Willow Place.

“It’s not that the quality [of water] is not good,” Gregory Graziano, the superintendent of the water authority, said in an interview. “But … you are replacing water mains that are 90 years old with brand new water mains that are now cement lined.”

Graziano said a good portion of the pipes being replaced are 85 years of age or older, which is around the expected life expectancy of 80 to 100 years.

“So we’re right in that window of where failure can happen,” Graziano said.

Graziano also noted that a “very small percentage” of the pipes are four inches in diameter and some are six inches in diameter – both considerably smaller than the minimum eight inch pipes the authority now installs.

Among the benefits of this project, first envisioned in late 2016, are improving flow so more water could be used by firefighters in an emergency and improved water capacity overall.

Graizano said the upgrades, to be done “one road at a time,” should be complete within three to four months.

In a public notice, the water authority said it has “coordinated closely with its consulting engineer and contractor” to try to minimize disruption from the water main project and aims to “provide timely responsive communication and outreach throughout the project.”

“We apologize for any inconvenience to our residents and will try to keep any disruption to traffic, water service or driveway access to a minimum,” the notice reads. “We are confident that the end result will be a significant improvement to our water system.”

The water authority’s jurisdiction includes the villages of Great Neck, Kings Point, Saddle Rock, Great Neck Estates and Kensington, as well as parts of Great Neck Plaza and Thomaston. Unincorporated areas north of the Long Island Rail Road are also within the agency’s territory.

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