Piping work to begin for Western Bays project

Bay Park Conveyance Project to start microtunneling and sliplining


The Bay Park Conveyance Project NY Department of Environmental Conservation November report shows upcoming and active work locations along Sunrise Highway in Baldwin. Crews are expected to be finishing their testing and surveying of the aqueducts alongside Sunrise Highway in early December and installing sliplining, or putting new pipes inside the old pipes, afterwards.

The construction crews will repurpose the 7.3-mile stretch of old aqueduct pipes put under Sunrise Highway in 1906 by sliplining. During the construction, one eastbound lane on the Merrick Road exit ramp onto Sunrise Highway in Rockville Centre will remain closed through 2022.

Former Baldwin Chamber of Commerce President and current Board Member Erik Mahler said the “project is of the utmost importance to the health of the bay ecosystem and protection from storm surge.” He added, “We are in full support of any project reducing nitrogen in our bays.”

The Bay Park Conveyance Project: A Western Bays Resiliency Initiative promises storm protection, quality of life, and economic benefits to south shore towns like Baldwin. The project, which is supported by a partnership between NYSEC and the Nassau County Department of Public Works, started earlier in the year and is expected to be finished in 2024.

A Bay Park Conveyance Project report read, “The Western Bays were once a productive fishing area…over time [nitrogen] discharge has led to a loss of fishing capacity and degradation of water quality and the marsh ecosystem.” The Westerns Bays constitute the waters between East Rockaway, Oceanside, Island Park, Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Freeport and Long Beach Barrier Island.

The late Prof. Larry Swanson,  Associate Dean at SOMAS Stony Brook University, said in an initial report that the water is “somewhat more acidic than they should be…we have the growth of sea lettuce and we have shellfish that are not free for the taking because they are contaminated with chloroform.”

Helping the environment will set into motion a chain reaction where marshlands will be able to protect from storms damages and raises in sea level. The marshlands being healthy will raise property values and encourage water oriented recreational and commercial opportunities. Those working on the project expect that the bay area shellfish and finfish will be edible again.

The project is following the “Design-Build” method. In this system a designer and contractor work together under one contract to shorten the procurement phase and use experienced engineers and contractors. The Western Bays Constructors joint-venture is designer and builder for the Bay Park Conveyance Project.