A Manhasset road has been waiting for some much-needed infrastructure work for more than two decades, but that wait could be nearly over.
The land between Bayview Avenue and Manhasset Bay has been slowly eroding for years, and president after president of the Bayview Civic Association has fought to get the Town of North Hempstead and Nassau County to come together and put funds toward the project.
“We as a civic association have come up with plans and tried to work with the town and county since 1996 to do something along the waterfront that would not only improve safety along the road for cars and some form of pathway for pedestrians and bicycles, and it’s never gotten enough traction,” Bayview Civic Association past president Eric Monroe said.
The roadway itself is owned by the Town of North Hempstead, but the land between the road and the bay is Nassau County property.
Former Bayview Civic Association president Victor Sostar authored the original 1996 grant proposal for a study and has been following the project closely since his administration ended in 1998.
Along some stretches, there is a foot or less between the edge of the roadway and the water.
Monroe said $50,000 had been appropriated by the town for the project in the 1990s, but he said the civic association at the time lacked the relationships between council members and then Town of North Hempstead Supervisor May Newburger to bring it to fruition.
Sostar said the original proposal was to mitigate some erosion as well as to address some aesthetic and environmental concerns. Some utility poles along the road have begun to tilt, and increased erosion could cause the poles to fall.
“The issue is there’s runoff from the road from the adjacent homes, fertilizer and pesticides and whatnot running into the bay, so the original plan was not only to stabilize the road but provide better drainage and the like, so it has a variety of purposes,” Sostar said. “It’s environmental, it’s aesthetic, and it’s also safety reasons.”
When Hurricane Sandy ripped into the Long Island coasts in 2012, the problems with Bayview Avenue only got worse.
“When Sandy came along, the water actually went over the banks across Bayview Avenue and up eight or 10 feet and almost made it into actual homes,” Monroe said.
Sostar and Monroe both said the problem is twofold: a lack of funding and inability for the village, town and county to come together on the problem.
Monroe said he would like the section of Manhasset Bay near Bayview Avenue to be dredged and for a seawall to be installed to fortify the road against future storms.
In 2015, North Hempstead received $2.4 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund five projects. Part of that grant was $266,852 to replace a soil embankment about 165 linear feet long and with 360 yards of cubic fill what was washed out.
Town of North Hempstead spokesperson Carole Trottere said the town has retained Rising Tide Waterfront Solutions, a local waterfront consulting firm based in Rockville Centre, for the project, including FEMA-approved backfill and seawall in some thinner areas along Bayview Avenue.
“The town also needs an easement signed off by Nassau County Department of Public Works because workers will need to operate on county land beside the town road to do the work,” Trottere said.
They are in the process of submitting for permits, including New York State Department of Environmental Conversation, the Army Corps of Engineers and the state’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. Construction will begin after the permits are issued, which can take up to 18 months.