Construction begins on Leeds Pond Culvert

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The Plandome Manor Leeds Culvert in 2013 (top) and in 2018 (bottom). (Photos courtesy of Barbara Donna)

The Long-awaited construction on the Leeds Pond Culvert has begun, according to the Town of North Hempstead.

The announcement was made Thursday through a statement from town Supervisor Judi Bosworth and Councilwoman Mariann Dalimonte. Plandome Manor Mayor Barbara Donno will also be assisting in overseeing the project.

Town officials say the project is split into two main phases, beginning with a new culvert will be constructed east of the existing culvert from Leeds Pond to Manhasset Bay under Plandome Road. The new culvert will be permanent and provide tidal flow for the Pond while the existing culvert undergoes restoration.

Once the new culvert is operational, the existing culvert will be closed, utilizing cofferdams to allow for the restoration of the walls. When restoration is complete, all cofferdams will be removed, allowing both culverts to operate together to service the tidal flow of Leeds Pond to Manhasset Bay.

Donno said at a November 2019 meeting of the Council of Greater Manhasset Civic Associations that the construction would most likely begin July 1, 2020.

She said the delay in getting started was caused by complications concerning the sheetrock that Oyster Bay-based contractor Woodstock Construction Group had planned to use for the repair.

The company had contracted with the town to do the work for $1.52 million in September in 2018.  In the spring of 2020, final relocations and coordination of utilities were completed allowing work to begin.

The culvert, built in 1954 and maintained by the Town of North Hempstead, has been the subject of questions since 2014.

In 2016, then-State Sen. Jack Martins obtained a $1.5 million appropriation for the project, with a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation announced by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer on Sept. 23 of the same year.

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