A long-awaited design for Manorhaven Boulevard was presented at a special village meeting in Manorhaven on Thursday.
Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, who has worked on the project since 2016, opened the meeting.
“This project is really your project,” DeRiggi-Whitton told the dozens of residents gathered. “We want to come in and help, but we want it to reflect what you all want for your downtown. It’s a jewel, and it just needs to be shined, and that’s what we’re going to do.”
DeRiggi-Whitton further said that the project would address both the “basics,” including drainage and paving, and “jewelry,” including lamps and benches, for the street. She also mentioned that the planners wanted to “stress a nautical theme, since you’re so close to the water.”
“We really want to dress it up,” DeRiggi-Whitton said.
The legislator also referenced the third public meeting for the project in June, in which residents discussed concerns over cutting down an excess of trees.
Nassau County Public Works Commissioner Ken Arnold said that as a result of the meeting, of the 90 trees currently present on the boulevard, only seven dead or diseased trees would be removed for the project.
“We’re saving about 90 percent,” DeRiggi-Whitton said. “And the ones that we do remove, we will soon replace.”
Arnold said that ideally, after one more public meeting to discuss “jewelry”, a “bidable plan” would be ready by the end of the year. Construction would begin in the fall of 2020, and the project would be wrapped up “by Memorial Day in 2021.”
Project lead Gil Anderson of the Brookhaven-based firm L.K. McLean Associates, who serve as consulting engineers for the project, was on hand with his team to discuss the designs in detail.
Plans obtained that detail the project explain that the changes to be made to the north and south sides of Manorhaven Boulevard include American Disability Act-compliant sidewalk ramps, drainage improvements “as required,” and installation of a new concrete curb on parts of both sides.
The south side will gain two bus shelters, in “exact locations yet to be determined,” as well as two sit-down plaza areas. As a whole, the street’s pavement will be milled, resurfaced and re-marked.
Lampposts with the capacity for hanging flower baskets will be among the “jewelry,” and resident Debbie Greco confirmed that the Port Washington Business Improvement District, which provides a similar service to downtown Port Washington, would maintain the flowers if placed there.
Manorhaven Mayor Jim Avena was optimistic about the project’s prospects, and applauded the county’s work.
“I’m very, very happy,” Avena said in an interview. “We satisfied a major concern from the last meeting, that being the trees, and the county did a good job in getting this right.”
While an exact date for the next meeting was not given, Avena said it would most likely occur “in the next two months.”