Manorhaven Boulevard is getting a $3 million facelift, yet trees stole the stage at a visioning meeting with county officials last Wednesday.
The Manorhaven Streetscape project will be paid for by Nassau County and includes the repaving of Manorhaven Boulevard from Shore Road to Dunes Lane and the installation of benches, lighting, trash receptacles and bus shelters.
Curbs, sidewalks and ADA-compliant ramps, as well as other traffic and pedestrian safety measures, will be updated along the boulevard and the county will make drainage improvements where necessary.
At the request of the village, the county will also repave the municipal parking lot at the Manorhaven Preserve.
Trees along the boulevard will have to be cut down to accommodate ADA-compliant sidewalks, which must be at least four feet wide and are required for projects conducted by the county.
Some in attendance grew concerned over the number of trees that would be affected by the project.
Glen Andersen, a resident of Port Washington, said he attended because he is a “tree freak,” and he didn’t think anyone was addressing the value of the mature willow oak trees that line Manorhaven Boulevard.
Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D-Glen Cove) said she has been hesitant to cut down trees for the project, but they are situated “right in the middle of the sidewalks” and for the county to pay for the project, the sidewalks need to be accessible for everyone.
She said the county has already approached the Town of North Hempstead to possibly use some of its land, which is situated beyond the fence along Manorhaven Boulevard, but negotiations were unsuccessful.
DeRiggi-Whitton said to get that property it would force the town to abandon parkland, but she will reach out again about the land.
The project is still in the design phase and county officials are seeking insight from residents on how they would like to see their main road.
“Manorhaven is such a jewel and we do have to give it some attention and love,” she said. “But we want to do it right, we want to get your input.”
Village Trustee Rita Di Lucia suggested that when resurfacing the boulevard, the county should consider eliminating the left-turn lanes onto each street when heading eastbound on the boulevard.
Another resident suggested that the county consider installing a catch basin at Manorhaven Boulevard and Inwood Road, where he says stormwater gathers.
Bike lanes were also suggested at the meeting by Roy Smitheimer, which DeRiggi-Whitton said had always been on the wish list for the project.
The Manorhaven Streetscape project was spearheaded by Deputy Mayor Priscilla von Roeschlaub, who initially reached out to the DeRiggi-Whitton’s office about the project four or five years ago.
With all of the recent beautification efforts in Port Washington, such as the Bay Walk in Port Washington North and the streetscaping on Main Street, von Roeschlaub said she would like to contribute and “continue the beauty of Port Washington.”
She said she always thought Manorhaven Boulevard should be “restaurant row” because of its location in Port Washington.
And with the opening of Morgan’s Dock, Mayor Jim Avena said visitors can come tie their boats up and take a stroll through the area.
L.K. McLean Associates was contracted for professional design services. The county anticipates that a technical design would be completed by September and a full design is expected in December. The design cost is $200,000.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran also attended last Wednesday’s meeting.