Popular Long Island Coastal Route to be Extended Ten Miles
Path Will Connect Cyclists and Pedestrians to Beach, Parks
Renderings Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of construction on a $16.2 million project to build the last section of the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway Shared Use Path in the town of Oyster Bay, Nassau County, and the towns of Babylon and Islip in Suffolk County. The new path will enhance safety for cyclists, walkers, runners and skaters; promote green transportation; and attract people to the natural beauty of beaches and State parks on Long Island.
"The Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway will provide cyclists, runners and walkers new opportunities to get outside while at the same time providing a new route for people to get to the many outdoor recreational activities the area has to offer," Governor Cuomo said. "This extension will give more residents and visitors a safe, healthy and environmentally sound way to get around Long Island."
"This project will extend the popular shared use path along Long Island's coastal route to increase access and boost tourism," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "The 10-mile extension will complete the last section of the path in Nassau and Suffolk counties, which will enhance public safety and further promote biking, running, walking, and other recreational activities in the area. This effort builds on our commitment to promote active, green transportation, attract more visitors, and strengthen the economy."
This final leg of the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway will lengthen the existing path on the northern side of the parkway from its current end at Tobay Beach an additional ten miles to Captree State Park.
Hundreds of new plantings natural to Long Island's shoreline - such as beach grass, evergreen trees, bayberry plants, and beach plums - will be planted as part of the project. Shaded rest stops will be placed approximately every three miles along the path. Informational panels will be installed detailing the history of Long Island's beachfront and highlighting the new vegetation and local wildlife. Signs will direct users and show distances to nearby public facilities.
The path, compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, will extend the smooth asphalt riding surface used on previous sections, and will feature standard lane markings and signs. Bridges over existing pedestrian walkways will be pre-fabricated off site, allowing for faster, more efficient construction at a lower cost than building on site. Cable guiderail will separate the Ocean Parkway from the Greenway, providing a safe barrier between motorists and path users.
Traffic calming measures, such as curves in the path, will slow bicyclists at driveways, and signs will alert motorists and path users of crossing traffic. New bicycle parking areas will be installed at Gilgo Beach, Cedar Beach Marina, and Captree State Park.
The Department of Transportation held a joint public meeting with the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation on this project in October of 2017, where it received overwhelming support from local biking clubs and civic groups. DOT and Parks continued to work with and the local barrier beach communities to ensure preservation of the area's natural beauty. The path will be built entirely within the existing parkway right-of-way and will be buffered from the residential communities, with no direct access.
During design, care was taken to protect the habitat of the endangered piping plover, minimize impacts to existing vegetation and guard against erosion from rising water levels. Nesting boxes will be installed off the path as a safe space for growing wildlife.
To accommodate summer beach visitors, major construction began after Labor Day weekend. Project completion is scheduled for the summer of 2021.
Extending the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway will add to the growing network of more than 20 miles of shared use paths built over the past decade on Long Island.
In the spring, Lieutenant Governor Hochul cut the ribbon on another shared use path in Jones Beach, a 4.5-mile extension on the barrier island's West End connecting to the existing Greenway via the iconic Jones Beach Boardwalk. By the end of 2019, a new path will be completed along the Nassau Expressway (State Route 878) in the town of Hempstead, Nassau County as part of a $130 million resiliency and safety enhancement project.
Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "The Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway extension will encourage more cyclists, walkers and runners to get outdoors, and enjoy Long Island's beaches and parks. It will provide an important link, connecting two of the state's largest State Parks, in the growing network of shared use paths that offer a green alternative to driving."
State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, "The ever-expanding network of shared use paths has been a big hit with the people visiting our beaches and State Parks on Long Island. I'm grateful to the Department of Transportation for this latest extension of the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway Shared Use Path, which will connect people with even more State Parks."
Senator John Brooks said, "We've been 'pedaling' this idea for a number of years now and I'm proud to say the time has finally come. This is a most welcomed addition to the current pathways that have been a mainstay for local outdoor enthusiasts. Many residents have expressed a keen interest in this expansion and the groundbreaking of this project underscores our commitment to the growth of outdoor activities at Jones Beach and serving the growing interest in the cycling community here on Long Island."
Senator Phil Boyle said, "I'm proud to have partnered with Governor Cuomo, Supervisor Schaffer, and the great professionals at the New York State Department of Transportation as work begins on this long anticipated 'shared use path'. I look forward to the future ribbon cutting which will allow countless New Yorkers to enjoy this path and the natural beauty of our barrier beaches."
Assembly Member Michael LiPetri said, "I am happy to see the final phase of the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway Shared-Use Path come to fruition. When completed, this 14.4 mile path will provide Long Islanders a new opportunity to enjoy and explore our unique coastal resources. I would also like to thank the Department of Transportation for working with the barrier beach homeowners and community leaders to address their concerns about access, safety, and privacy throughout this project. Together, we can ensure that the Shared-Use Path is enjoyed by all for years to come!"
Assembly Member Andrew Garbarino said, "It's great to see this project get closer to its completion. The finished Coastal Greenway will provide even more opportunities to enjoy Long Island's coastline for both locals and tourists. I commend the Governor and the Department of Transportation for providing a safe way for more people to see Ocean Parkway's natural beauty."
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, "In Nassau County we welcome opportunities to allow residents to safely bike, run, walk or skate - especially in parks and beaches. Thank you to Governor Cuomo for his work to complete the extension of the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway Shared Use Path, which will give residents another option to safely enjoy the outdoors."
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "This extension will promote the South Shore scenery, reduce congestion, and encourage a healthier and active lifestyle for Long Islanders. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his commitment to improving our recreational assets, making them safer and more accessible for everyone to enjoy."
Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Joseph Saladino said, "The pathway along Ocean Parkway provides our residents with a great recreational experience, as well as a safe, unique way to travel one of our State's most picturesque areas. The completion of this path will further help enhance the experience for everyone who utilizes this beautiful amenity of Long Island, as well as those looking to visit our picturesque, south shore beaches."
Babylon Town Supervisor Richard Schaffer said, "The Town Board and I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for New York State's continued investment in the South Shore of Long Island. The Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway Shared Use Path will give Town of Babylon residents a safe and scenic way to travel between our beautiful barrier beach facilities at Overlook, Cedar and Gilgo beaches."
Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said, "As Islip Town Supervisor, I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for his efforts in expanding the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway Shared Use Path. Our waterfront is one of our most cherished resources and we look forward to the benefit this project will bring to our residents and their enjoyment of our waterways."
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