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Babylon Town in early phases of $6.8M watershed project

Rich Groh is chief environmental analyst for the

Rich Groh is chief environmental analyst for the Town of Babylon, which is embarking on a $6.8 million infrastructure repair project along the Carlls River watershed. Credit: Barry Sloan

The Town of Babylon is beginning work on infrastructure repairs along the Carlls River watershed.

The work is part of superstorm Sandy storm resiliency projects the town has been undertaking, paid for by more than $26 million in federal Community Development Block Grant funds the town received after the 2012 storm. Last summer the town hired LiRo Group of Syosset for nearly $1.3 million to oversee the projects.

The town last month hired NV5 of Melville for all architectural, engineering, design, bid phase services, construction administration and inspection services for the Carlls River watershed project at a cost not to exceed $1.09 million.

The work is at five locations and is expected to cost nearly $6.8 million. Rich Groh, the town’s chief environmental analyst, said that the first area is Elda Lake in North Babylon. The town aims to replace badly deteriorated steel pipe culverts that are under Phelps Lane with a concrete box culvert, Groh said. They also want to eliminate two overflows that don’t work and create a fish passageway so that eels, trout and other local marine life can traverse the dam and move upstream.

“So in addition to the resiliency, it’s a nice environmental benefit,” Groh said.

Other parts of the watershed work include a storm water treatment wetland to be built north of Sunrise Highway and west of Belmont State Park that will naturally capture and treat runoff. Two culverts will be replaced at Southard’s Pond in Babylon Village, a screen added to an intake pipe and a fish passageway added. Also in the village, a culvert will be replaced with a wider structure near Locust Avenue and south of Argyle Lake a culvert will be replaced and repairs will be made to a control gate and spillway.

Groh did not have a timeline for the work but said the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery is requiring the projects be 30 percent designed by August.

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