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Drainage work, boardwalk upgrades planned in Long Beach

Bathrooms at New York Avenue under construction on

Bathrooms at New York Avenue under construction on the boardwalk in Long Beach Monday. Credit: Jeff Bachner

Long Beach city officials plan to spend $108 million over the next five years on infrastructure projects, including road construction and flood control measures.

The five-year total is a reduction of the original plan by $5.8 million as the city looks to cut spending and lower debt. Council members approved the revised capital plan along with the city's 2020-2021 budget in May. 

This year's capital plan calls for $48.4 million in projects, which will be paid for with grants, bonds and $5.1 million in city, water and sewer funds, officials said. The city expects to take on $4.8 million in new debt this year to cover the work, but pay off $8.2 million in existing long-term debt that funded older projects. 

“We still have the same need for the same amount of projects. We’re just trying to spread it out over more than five years,” Public Works Commissioner John Mirando said. “In the next year, we may be scaling back again. We’re trying to catch up on maintenance of buildings and trying to do more things with grant money.”

A major component of this year's plan is $32 million for bulkheading to protect critical infrastructure, such as the city’s electric substation, water treatment plant, water purification system and Long Island Rail Road station facing Reynolds Channel. The project is expected to be fully reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Upgrades are planned at the boardwalk, including new bathrooms at Neptune Boulevard and New York Avenue and a new lifeguard headquarters set to be finished in September at Riverside Boulevard.

Other projects in the capital plan this year are: $750,000 to fix the facade at City Hall; $520,000 for road reconstruction; $500,000 to repair the bus station parking garage; $800,000 in water distribution upgrades; and $500,000 in sewer work. The city will conduct hydrant and well replacements.

The city plans to convert its entire sewer system by 2024 to connect to Nassau County’s sewer treatment plant in Bay Park. Long Beach will convert its existing sewer treatment plant into a pump station and build a pipeline to Bay Park. The city has submitted a hazard mitigation plan to have 95% of the project covered by FEMA. The project will also eliminate all sewer costs to the city after 2023.

Other drainage projects funded by the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery will reduce flooding on National Boulevard and West Park Avenue. A new pump station at Tennessee Avenue will pump water back into the bay.

The city is also embarking on a pair of $1 million streetscaping and design plans to make Edwards Boulevard and West Park Avenue more pedestrian friendly. 

The city is working to clean up center parking lots, replace sidewalks and planters on Park Avenue. 

The city received grants to add crosswalks and bike lanes around Park Avenue and Edwards Boulevard.

The Edwards Boulevard project came in $1 million over budget, but will still include repaving roads, handicap ramps, bike lanes and new drainage in the center medians. The scaled-back design will eliminate new streetlights.

The city also received a $300,000 capital improvement grant from Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach) to buy additional personal protection equipment for police and firefighters and a new ambulance.

The state is also covering a new $190,000 timekeeping system for city employees. 

Long Beach capital plan includes:

  • $750,000 city hall rehab
  • $520,000 road reconstruction
  • $500,000 bus parking garage
  • $500,000 sewer improvements
  • $800,000 for water distribution upgrades
  • $400,000 road overlays

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