Months before construction is slated to begin on the $500 million public-private redevelopment of downtown Wyandanch, the Town of Babylon has awarded new design and construction contracts worth more than $1 million to several firms involved with the project.
Mineola-based engineering firm Sidney B. Bowne & Son was awarded contracts worth more than $600,000 last week for road design, renovation of buildings and relocation of parking at the Long Island Rail Road station that will be displaced once building begins on the Wyandanch Rising project.
Bowne, which has done unrelated work for the town, was already expected to be paid more than $3 million for Wyandanch redevelopment.
Philadelphia planner Olin Partnership was awarded a $450,000 contract for design and construction supervision of the station plaza. And Maryland design firm Torti Gallas was awarded $37,050 for consulting work on code regulations for downtown Wyandanch. The contract allows for an extra $14,400 in expenses.
While the town employs its own engineers and planning staff, spokesman Tim Ruggeri said it made sense in these cases to outsource the work. "Overall, it's cheaper to do this than have full-time staff do it, especially since their skills are tailored to specific projects," he said.
The first phase of Wyandanch Rising is expected to be completed in 2014 and includes a transit plaza, 50,000 square feet of commercial space and 150 rental and 90 condo units north of the train station, with construction expected to begin in the fall. Town officials estimate the phase will cost $100 million.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is working with the town to create replacement parking for the more than 1,000 current spaces to be lost near the station.