Construction on a parking lot and other new amenities is set to begin next week for the Bay Walk, a half-mile path and public park in Port Washington North.
In addition to the parking area, the Bay Walk Waterfront Park will gain a drop-off zone, kayak launch, and rain garden.
The new facilities are aimed at making the site a “destination,” Port Washington North Mayor Robert Weitzner.
The site currently has no parking, making it difficult for residents to plan a trip to the park, Weitzner said.
People may only find the Bay Walk if they were passing by on a run or walk, with others “ignoring it or neglecting to come because it wasn’t convenient. You weren’t necessarily seeing people go there to have lunch.”
“I’d just love to see more people use the park, and I’d love to see kayakers consider Port Washington North as a solid destination,” he said.
The village first opened the Bay Walk in 2008. It was built around a fishing pier that had been a dilapidated oil transfer station. In 2011, the village opened the Outdoor Nautical Art Museum on the trail.
North Hempstead Town officials have said they want to extend the trail to the town’s dock overlooking Manhasset Bay. The plan is to create a 1.8-mile promenade.
Port Washington North is expanding its pier float, citing increasing demand from operators of dinghys and small boats. The village is to install a picnic area and a water bottle replenishing station that also serves as a water station for pets. A stained glass structure that depicts the community’s nautical history is to be added to the Bay Walk.
The roughly $1.5 million project was funded through $500,000 from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation; $505,000 from the New York Department of State; $250,000 from the Town of North Hempstead and $50,000 from Nassau County’s Community Revitalization Program. The Village contributed $200,000.
Work is expected to be completed in the fall.
Pedestrian access north of the Port North Pier will be limited during the construction period. However, a portion of the path south of the construction zone, including the pier, will remain open.