After years of planning and building, the Bay Walk in Port Washington North will be complete by late November, Mayor Bob Weitzner said.
The project, which was first planned in 2003, turned an oil loading dock into a waterfront park along Shore Road
“I’m curious to what the future will bring and who will be attracted to the Bay Walk,” Weitzner said. “It’s going to be fun watching the park evolve over time once the word gets around about it.”
Weitzner said the village will hold a dedication ceremony in early December and then have a ribbon-cutting event in the spring.
“There’s going to be some unique seating features too,” Weitzner said. “There will be seating in the shade under a promenade-type thing with rocking chairs and other types of various tables and places to sit.”
The park will feature a kayak launch station, new benches, bicycle racks, a garden, a phone-charging station and a water-replenishing station with a dog bowl.
“It’s so gratifying for the community to know this project, which we started planning as early as 2003, is getting done,” Weitzner said.
Phase II of the Bay Walk cost $1.5 million — $1 million of which was covered by the state Department of State and the state Department of Parks, Recreations and Historical Preservation.
The village covered $250,000 of the cost with bond money, and the Town of North Hempstead covered the remaining $250,000, Weitzner said.
At the dedication ceremony, a plaque with the names of the board of trustees, Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth and town Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio will be unveiled.
Weitzner said the park’s location is ideal because it’s near restaurants, delis and supermarkets.
The entire park will be under video surveillance that will feature live monitoring and recording for up to 30 days.
Weitzner said the original plan was to have the art work and the pier under surveillance, but that the village thought installing cameras around the entire park was a better idea.
“There’s a presence now,” Weitzner said. “People should feel safe at all times when they’re in the park. And God forbid if something happened, we could check and back it up. It’s a peace of mind issue for sure.”
The plan for the cell-phone charging center wasn’t originally in the plan, Weitzner said, but evolved once residents discussed the possibility with him.
“I spoke with residents, and they seemed very interested in the cell-phone charging center, so we decided that it would make a good addition as an amenity,” he said.
The park will also feature kinetic wind art, Weitzner said.
Weitzner faced criticism over the June 20 start date of Phase II, because residents were concerned that construction during summer would be problematic for a waterside park.
Weitzner said the village had to start early in the summer because it needed to complete the project by Dec. 31 to be reimbursed by state departments.
The village struggled obtaining various permits before starting construction on Phase II and received an extension back in June to complete the project before Dec. 31.
The park will also include a boat resting area on the waterfront, a new network expanding the Outdoor Nautical Art Museum, an information kiosk and the expansion of the Port North pier float.