The Nassau County Legislaure unanimously voted on Nov. 25 to approve a design-build contract between the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation and Western Bays Constructors for the $439 million Bay Park Conveyance Project.
The plan is designed to restore the ecosystem and water quality in the Western Bays by sending treated effluent, or wastewater, from the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant to the Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant’s ocean outfall pipe through underground tunnels. The project will significantly reduce nitrogen loading from wastewater effluent entering the Western Bays each year to achieve significant resiliency benefits.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the selection of Western Bays Constructors as the design-build contractor selected for the construction of the project on Nov. 6.
“I thank Gov. Cuomo for his commitment to Long Island’s environment and the Legislature for unanimously approving one of the most significant and innovative ecological projects in Long Island history,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, according to a news release. “The Bay Park Conveyance Project will improve water quality and rejuvenate critical marshland and marine life in the bays, resulting in greater storm resiliency and revitalized recreational and economic activities for one of Nassau’s most treasured natural resources.”
Built in 1949, the Bay Park plant serves more than half a million Nassau County residents and discharges an average of 52 million gallons of treated effluent into the Western Bays each day, adversely affecting some 10,000 acres of water and tidal marshland. The nitrogen contained in treated effluent breaks down and severely damages coastal marshes serving as natural storm surge barriers protecting hundreds of thousands of residents and millions of dollars in property along the South Shore of Long Island.
The design-build contract will next require the approval of the Nassau County Comptroller, Nassau County Finance Control Board and Curran before it is submitted to the state DEC, attorney general and comptroller for final approval. Construction of the project will take less than three years.
“With our Nassau County partners, New York has worked tirelessly to address the greatest ecological threat to the Western Bays through the Bay Park Conveyance Project,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, according to a news release, “which will restore ecosystems, increase resilience and support local economies. This milestone is a critical step in advancing this landmark project furthering the state and county’s ability to deliver this project expeditiously and at a lesser cost to taxpayers.”
Courtesy Nassau County; compiled by Mike Smollins