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State DOT plans 10-mile bike path along Ocean Parkway

The 10-mile bike path, seen here in an

The 10-mile bike path, seen here in an artist's rendering, along Ocean Parkway from Tobay Beach to Captree State Park would be finished by summer 2020, the state Department of Transportation said. Credit: NYS DOT

By the summer of 2020, a 10-mile stretch along Ocean Parkway will open for cyclists, joggers and walkers — an extension that will more than double the length of an existing path — under a new plan.

“This project will offer more nonmotorized access to Long Island’s world class beaches and further promote Long Island as a summertime destination,” a Department of Transportation spokesman said by email.

The third phase of a project that began four years ago will create a 10- to 13-foot-wide path from Tobay Beach to Captree State Park, the DOT said in a notice for a coming open house on the plan.

New parking areas for bikes, located by existing lots, will make it easier for cyclists to hop off and enjoy the waterfront, the notice said.

Native plants are part of the $16 million project along the north side of Ocean Parkway, which will create “a buffer for the communities along the barrier island and additional wildlife habitat,” it said.

Work on the new path should start in the summer of 2019, and take about one year to finish, the DOT said. Much of the area is already fairly clear.

“The proposed path will run immediately next to the parkway, extending approximately 20 feet from the edge of the roadway, making only minimal changes to existing vegetation,” the spokesman said.

The first section of the bike path, which runs half a mile from the terminus of the Ellen Farrant Bikeway along the Wantagh State Parkway, to Jones Beach, opened in May 2013.

One year later, a four-mile stretch was completed, running from Jones Beach to Tobay Beach.

The state aims to promote both healthy living and a greener environment, the DOT spokesman said. He said the first two phases “have seen great success.”

The open house for the new stretch will be held Oct. 25 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the West Bathhouse at Jones Beach. Attendees should park at Field 4, the DOT said.

Alternatively, members of the public can send comments by email to r10-rpic@dot.ny.gov, or by calling 631-952-6929.

They also can write the Ocean Parkway Shared-Use Path team, NYSDOT Region 10, State Office Building, 250 Veterans Memorial Hwy., 5th Floor, Hauppauge, NY 11788. The deadline is Dec. 27.

Once public comments have been reviewed, the DOT determines whether its plan should be modified.

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