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Early finish to Ocean Parkway Greenway's 10-mile extension lets runners, bikers enjoy ocean views

The Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway's third and final

The Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway's third and final section has been completed. It now extends from Tobay Beach in the Town of Oyster Bay to Captree State Park in the Towns of Babylon and Islip.   Credit: Office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo

A 10-mile extension of a four-mile bike and pedestrian path along Ocean Parkway in Babylon has been completed, three months ahead of schedule, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday.

The $16.2 million third and final section of the paved Coastal Greenway runs between Tobay Beach in the Town of Oyster Bay and Captree State Park in the towns of Babylon and Islip.

The path opened Wednesday to bicyclists, runners, skaters and walkers to enjoy the scenic waterfront.

"We are making record investments in our tourism industry and state infrastructure to enrich the lives of Long Island residents," Cuomo, who first announced the project in October 2019, said in a statement Wednesday.

New plantings, including beach grass, evergreen trees, bayberry plants and beach plum shrubs, were added to the path, with shaded rest stops placed about every 3 miles along the path, officials said.

New bicycle parking areas were added at Gilgo Beach, Cedar Beach Marina and Captree State Park, while signs will tell visitors the history of Long Island's beachfront through education panels and direct visitors to nearby public facilities.

"The addition of this new oceanfront, outdoor attraction that spans Ocean Parkway, connects to additional trails and boasts stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and Jones Beach is certain to be a new favorite for both residents and visitors alike," said Discover Long Island president and chief executive Kristen Jarnagin.

For added safety, curves in the path will slow bicyclists at driveways, while signs alert drivers and path users of crossing traffic and a reflective cable guiderail was erected between the path and Ocean Parkway, state officials said.

The path is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, officials said.

The Greenway's first phase was completed in 2013 and runs from the Ellen Farrant Memorial Bikeway along the Wantagh State Parkway to the Jones Beach boardwalk. The second phase, which runs from Jones Beach to Tobay Beach, was completed in 2014.

"Exploring Long Island's coastline ranks among New York's most awe-inspiring outdoor experiences," said State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid.

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