West Shore Road to open 3 weeks early

Officials from the Nassau County public works department Officials from the Nassau County public works department will speak tonight about the project to reconstruct West Shore Road in Mill Neck at a joint meeting of the Oyster Bay and East Norwich Civic Associations.(Dec. 20, 2012) Photo Credit: David Pokress

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West Shore Road in Mill Neck will reopen Monday afternoon -- three weeks ahead of schedule -- following emergency repairs of damage from superstorm Sandy and previously planned reconstruction.

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said both lanes of the 2-mile road along Oyster Bay Harbor will reopen after a $9.2 million project to repair several undermined sections and fully reconstruct the center section as planned before the storm.

"They're ahead of time and on budget," Mangano said of ALAC Construction Corp. of Centereach. "The crews worked additional hours daily and they worked six days a week to make certain that the road was open well before the July Fourth deadline that we set to get Bayville back in business for the summer."

With the road that provides one of two access routes for residents of Bayville and Centre Island blocked since October, drivers have been forced to make a 10-minute detour through Mill Neck and Lattingtown. The detour deprived many merchants in Bayville and some in Oyster Bay of much of their business.

"I am delighted that it will reopen even earlier than we had expected," Bayville Mayor Douglas Watson said. "It will save the summer season for our businesses and make my residents' lives that much better."

In the coming weeks, ongoing work in the center portion of the road will require closures for short periods, county officials said. That work includes additional paving and permanent striping because temporary markings were laid down to get the road open more quickly. There also will be concrete and other work along the shoulders and seawall.

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Full reconstruction of the southern section of the road will be the next phase. But the current project did include emergency repairs and upcoming reconstruction of the seawall there. Because of the seawall work, Mangano said, "We're going to shut one lane from time to time but not on weekends for laying of metal sheeting." All of the work on the current project is expected to be completed by July Fourth.

The second phase is expected to begin at the end of the year. It will cover from the Long Island Rail Road trestle north to Cleft Road.

"It will be a lot less disruptive," Mangano said, because it will not be done on an emergency basis and there will be more time to plan. Mangano said there would be community meetings in the next few weeks to get residents' suggestions on how the work should be done.

Public works department spokesman Michael Martino said it's possible the entire southern project could be done with only one lane closed at a time. That would extend the project's time frame but eliminate the need for a detour. There also could be a combination of one-lane and full-road closures. Either way, the southern portion should be completed in less time than the 7 1/2 months it took for the first phase, he said.

The final or northern phase will follow after the county resolves questions of land ownership for the right of way.

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