Road detours and closures could inconvenience Atlantic Beach residents and motorists driving across the village for a brief time, but at the end of up to two months water delivery is anticipated to be significantly improved.
New York American Water officials said on Nov. 13 that they are investing $2 million to install a new high-density polyethylene water main underneath the Reynolds Channel with the goal of improving the delivery of water to Atlantic Beach customers during high water use periods. The high-density pipe is a flexible plastic tube used for fluid and gas transfer and is often used to replace ageing concrete or steel mains pipelines.
NYAW has classified summer as peak-season for water usage on Long Island. According to their website, an average of 50 million gallons of water are used per day in July, compared to the 18 million gallons used on an average winter day on Long Island.
The work began on Nov. 15 and it will replace 2,500-feet of 16-inch main installed in the 1970s with the HDPE main that is set to be drilled 25-feet below the Reynolds Channel seabed. The replacement project will be achieved by drilling from the Cedarhurst Yacht Club in Lawrence, under the channel, to Vernon Avenue in Atlantic Beach. The Reynolds Channel is a strait that separates the Long Beach, Atlantic Beach, Lido Beach and Point Lookout from Long Island.
“Delivery of water to our Atlantic Beach customers is limited by the size of the current water main that runs under Reynolds Channel, connecting water mains in Lawrence to our Atlantic Beach system,” said Richard Kilpatrick, manager of engineering for NYAW.
“By installing a new 20-inch HDPE transmission main, we are increasing water flow and the resiliency of this important system connection.” Kilpatrick said he expects the work to last roughly eight weeks.
Atlantic Beach acknowledged the work with a brief on its website, posted Nov. 16. “From November 16 through approximately December 13, the intersection of Vernon Avenue and Beech St will be closed to traffic.” “The traffic on Vernon Avenue will be limited to residents only and two-way traffic will be allowed for access to homes.” It also stated that additional road closures will be required in January. Those dates have yet to be determined.
Lee Muller, a NYAW spokeswoman, said that Atlantic Beach residents should see improvements in their water quality once the project is completed. “New York American Water will coordinate with residents along Vernon Avenue in Atlantic Beach to minimize disruptions,” she said. “We always like to take a good look at our infrastructure and we believe that installing a wider-diameter main will bring improvements to the quality of water for our Atlantic Beach customers.”
Residents with questions or concerns about the work can call NYAW Project Supervisor, Bill Popelaski at (516) 596-4807.