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Hicksville parking garage to close for 3 months for repairs

The Hicksville parking garage, shown Wednesday, will close

The Hicksville parking garage, shown Wednesday, will close for 90 days starting July 9. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Oyster Bay officials will close the town’s Hicksville parking garage for 90 days starting July 9 to make major repairs to the problem-plagued structure.

The 1,440-space, four-floor garage is typically full on weekdays most of the year and town officials are scrambling to find alternatives for commuters who use the nearby Long Island Rail Road station, the LIRR’s busiest. About 200 spaces have already been taken out of use because of structural problems with the garage at Newbridge Road and Duffy Avenue.

“We understand people need to park to get to work and we are working on acquiring other sites for the duration of the process,” Supervisor Joseph Saladino said Tuesday after the regular town board meeting at which members approved a $6.8 million bond to fund the repairs.

The town may lease sites, and “in some cases, there may be entities who would offer up part of their parking lot,” Saladino said. “The mall is an example of what we’re looking into,” he said, referring to Broadway Commons several blocks away. Shuttle buses could be deployed for some parking, he said.

The $35 million garage has had problems since shortly after it opened in 2011, including cracked ceilings, concrete falling onto cars and leaks.

Oyster Bay Public Works Commissioner Richard Lenz said most of the closure will be during the garage’s lowest-use period in July and August, when the structure is usually 85 to 90 percent full. But he noted September, when the garage will still be closed, is busier than June and early July, when it will remain open.

The project will go out to bid Thursday, Lenz said.

During Tuesday’s discussion about the bonding, Councilman Anthony Macagnone asked why the town is paying for the repairs when it is seeking damages from two contractors that worked on the original construction of the garage.

“The repairs have to be done now,” said Oyster Bay finance director Robert Darienzo. “So we will lay out the money and the litigation will take its course.”

The town in June sued Freeport-based Peter Scalamandre & Sons Inc. and Mineola-based Sidney B. Bowne & Son LLP alleging they failed to correct substandard work. A Scalamandre spokesman has said the garage “was built according to specification,” and a Bowne partner has said there were “no departures from good and accepted engineering practices.”

The biggest part of the repair project will be to remove and replace four large supporting slabs — each roughly 120 feet by 20 feet — that have major cracks, Lenz said. The garage is safe to use, but in the long term, continued cracking could endanger users, he said. The four slabs are among hundreds in the garage which, along with beams and vertical columns, support the structure, he said.

Other work to be undertaken in the garage includes improving ventilation in the stairwells — where trails of rust from moisture have been common — replacing electrical conduits and installing expansion joints to help concrete expand during weather changes without causing damage, Lenz said.

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