The Federal Highway Administration plans to give Glen Cove $875,951 so the city can build a passenger ferry terminal after 14 years of planning.
The allocation announced Thursday by the state's U.S. senators -- Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand -- provides the final funding needed to allow construction of the $3.5 million, 2,700-square-foot facility on Glen Cove Creek.
"This is great news for the city and the region," Mayor Ralph Suozzi said. He added that construction of the terminal -- expected to be operational by fall 2013 -- and ferry service to Manhattan would be an economic boost.
"This is a huge victory, that will not only provide convenient transportation to New York City, but also transform the waterfront," Schumer said.
Gillibrand added, "This terminal will increase economic development opportunities as part of the larger waterfront development project" to create the mixed-use Glen Isle complex on a previously blighted waterfront.
The city has dredged the creek, built bulkheads, installed a pier and floating docks, removed contaminated soil, installed utilities and built the terminal foundation at a cost of $14 million in federal funds, with the city contributing about $600,000.
Suozzi said the $875,951 and the city's $175,190 matching contribution would fund construction of the first floor and shell of the second floor, and waiting area, restrooms, a small office and area for kiosks on the first floor.
A second phase, estimated to cost about $2.2 million, would expand the second floor to accommodate a restaurant and offices, and bring up the terminal space to a total of 7,500 square feet.
The building would be designed so it could also be used for public events and would meet the highest standards for energy conservation.
The city will advertise for bids for a ferry operator to transport commuters to the city and also offer harbor and dinner cruises when construction ends. Suozzi said the dock can also be used by recreational boaters.
In its 2005 Long Island Sound Waterborne Transportation Plan, the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council identified the Glen Cove ferry as a viable regional site for destinations to the west. The plan noted that ferry services operating on Long Island Sound made more than 4 million passenger trips and nearly 2 million vehicle trips per year, making the region one of the country's top 10 ferry markets.