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Babylon Village to create waterfront park at site of shoreline project

Bulkheading to protect the shoreline with be replaced or installed for the first time as part of the New York Rising Community Reconstruction program.

The south end of Araca Road in Babylon,

The south end of Araca Road in Babylon, seen on April 24, will get a state-funded bulkhead makeover before the Village of Babylon adds a small, passive park. Credit: Newsday / Rachel O’Brien

Work will begin soon on a state-funded shoreline stabilization project at the south end of Araca Road in Babylon and will be followed by a new village-funded park to offer residents access to the waterfront.

The Babylon Town Board awarded a contract to Mastic Beach-based Atlantic Coast Dock Construction Corp. for $702,045 on April 24 to replace bulkheading in disrepair along the waterfront and add bulkheading where there was none before.

A committee of residents and stakeholders selected the project, which is funded by the New York Rising Community Reconstruction program of the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery following Hurricane Irene and superstorm Sandy.

A total of 443 feet of irregularly-shaped bulkhead will be installed around the land, including along a minuscule beach that never had a bulkhead. On the eastern side of the road, a vinyl breakwater will extend 107 feet into the bay, replacing a similar dilapidated structure.

“It protects the boats that are going to be docked on the canal … it breaks up the wake,” said Peter Casserly, a town consultant for construction management who is overseeing recovery and resiliency projects in the town and chairman of the Babylon Democratic Committee.

American beach grass will be planted along the shoreline, Casserly said.

After that project is complete, the Village of Babylon will turn the approximately 180 feet of waterfront land into a small passive park, Mayor Ralph Scordino said. The parcels extend back about 65 feet on one side of the road and 75 feet on the other. The parcels are adjacent to private homes.

Civic group Dalton Point Association previously owned the parcel but didn’t pay taxes on the property and it was obtained by Suffolk County.

In 2014, the county transferred ownership to the village.

“They asked us if we wanted it, and we’re always the first one to jump in and try to preserve vacant space,” Scordino said.

The waterfront park will have benches looking to the bay, with open grassy areas on both sides of the street, he said.

“When this work is done, this is going to make a beautiful recreation area for people to enjoy,” Scordino said.

Atlantic Coast Dock Construction Corp. has done similar work on town projects, Casserly said, including at a marina on S. Great Neck Road in Copiague and the Tanner Park Marina in Copiague.

He expects work will begin in about one month and take as long as six months to complete.

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