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Nassau announces plans for hiking, biking paths

A plan to establish a Motor Parkway Trail — hiking and biking paths that will trace the original route of the historic road — was announced Friday by Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano.

The parkway, built in 1908 as a 9-mile stretch from Westbury to Bethpage, later was expanded to Queens and Lake Ronkonkoma.

The trail will begin with a 1.25-mile span between Carman and Stewart avenues. It is expected to cost nearly $1 million, funding that will likely come from Nassau’s Environmental Bond Act, Mangano said.

“The Long Island Motor Parkway was originally built to provide a form of recreation for William K. Vanderbilt, and it is the first road built in the United States made specifically for automobile use,” Mangano said Friday morning at a news conference in Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.

The parkway was also the setting for the Vanderbilt Cup races, an auto race that played a critical role in the history of the sport.

Representatives of biking and hiking groups, park preservation organizations and engineers attended the Friday news conference, along with county and state parks officials.

“This cooperation between community leaders, county representatives and New York State has resulted in the preservation of one of Long Island's most storied pieces of history,” Mangano said.

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