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Nassau Expressway project draws public support in Cedarhurst

Nassau Expressway at Rockaway Turnpike in Lawrence

Nassau Expressway at Rockaway Turnpike in Lawrence Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

About 100 people Thursday aired their concerns about a stretch of the Nassau Expressway — a road they say is congested and floods easily, posing a safety risk.

The New York State Department of Transportation has proposed renovations to alleviate traffic and prevent flooding, improving safety and operation of the expressway. The department held an evening meeting at Lawrence High School in Cedarhurst to get public feedback.

Construction on the $130 million project is slated to begin next summer and finish by the end of 2019, said Ken Murphy, the agency’s acting regional design engineer for Long Island.

Proposed changes include widening the expressway, adding turn lanes and shoulders at intersections, creating shared-use paths for pedestrians and bicycles, and raising the roadway above the 100-year floodplain between Rockaway Turnpike and Burnside Avenue.

That stretch of the expressway serves as a designated evacuation route for 400,000 residents and carries 56,000 cars per day.

Atlantic Beach resident Martin Schaffer called traffic on the expressway “crazy” and “awful,” and said it’s time for the state to act.

“It’s been on the [drawing] board for 30 years or something,” said Schaffer, 65. “ . . . Let’s get it done.”

Other residents asked about traffic during construction; Murphy said two lanes will remain open during peak periods. 

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the timeframe that lanes would remain open.


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