$439 Million Project Will Improve Water Quality and Storm Resiliency in Long Island’s Western Bays
Cost-Saving Design-Build Procurement Approach Incentivizes Private Sector to Accelerate Completion of Large-Scale Infrastructure Projects
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced Western Bays Constructors Joint Venture has been selected as the design-build contractor responsible for the construction of the $439 million Bay Park Conveyance Project in Nassau County. The project will spark the ecological recovery of the degraded Western Bays by reducing nitrogen released to the Reynolds Channel and Western Bays each year and create conditions for a rapid rebound of ecosystem renewal, which in turn will support region-wide resiliency. Specifically, this will be accomplished by conveying the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant’s treated effluent to the Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant’s ocean outfall through construction oftwo underground tunnels and repurposing an abandoned aqueduct.
“From damaged ecosystems to problems with shoreline resiliency, Long Island’s coastal environment has suffered immensely from decades of nitrogen pollution and it must be stopped,” Governor Cuomo said. “Along with our local partners, New York has worked tirelessly to address this ecological threat through the innovative Bay Park Conveyance Project and the selection of a design-build contractor is an important step in advancing this critical project and getting it done faster and cheaper.”
Design-build is a cost-saving procurement approach that incentivizes the private sector to accelerate the completion of large-scale infrastructure projects. By utilizing this approach, the project will support the ecological recovery of the Western Bays at a substantially lower cost and shorter construction schedule than other options, which would have cost more than $600 million and taken nearly a decade to construct. The Conveyance Project, which will be constructed in under three years, will reduce 19 billion gallons of treated wastewater and more than 95 percent of the nitrogen loading to Reynolds Channel and the Western Bays each year and achieve region-wide resiliency benefits.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will manage the design-build contract (Western Bays Constructors Joint Venture, consisting of John P. Picone, Inc., and Northeast Remsco Construction, Inc.) and upon completion, the Nassau County Department of Public Works will own and operate the new facilities. However, before any work can begin, the design-build contract must obtain a number of approvals.
First, the contract is being submitted to the County Legislature on November 6 for review and vote on November 23. The contract will then need to be reviewed and approved by the County Finance Control Board, the County Comptroller and County Executive Curran, before the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation signs the contract and submits it to both the New York State Attorney General and Comptroller for final approval. Following that, DEC will issue the Notice to Proceed with final award of the contract.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, “Today’s announcement marks another affirmative step forward in the transformation and revitalization of our invaluable Western Bays. This innovative best value design-build team will capably and expeditiously build out the infrastructure needed to improve water quality and rejuvenate critical marshland and marine life in the bays. The result will be greater storm resiliency, improved ecology, and revitalized recreational and economic activities for one of Nassau’s most treasured natural resources.”
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “This innovative project will protect the critical ecosystems of Western Bays and bolster coastal resiliency. Today’s announcement advances the Bay Park Conveyance Project and will expedite our efforts to project Long Island’s environment with creative solutions, bringing us another step closer to restoring the health and resiliency of Nassau County’s Western Bays.”
Built in 1949, the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant (BPSTP) serves more than 500,000 Nassau County residents and discharges an average of 52 million gallons of treated wastewater into Reynolds Channel each day. This discharge impacts nearly 10,000 acres of water and tidal marshland in the Western Bays, from Atlantic Beach to Point Lookout, including Hewlett and Baldwin harbors. Due in large part to nitrogen in treated wastewater from this plant, the Western Bays are impaired by macro algal blooms and other water quality issues, such as low dissolved oxygen. Peer-reviewed scientific studies have linked excess nitrogen to the damage and ultimate disintegration of coastal marsh islands that serve as a resilient barrier to storm surge and associated waves.
The project will convey fully treated effluent by constructing a two-mile, 72-inch force main north from the BPSTP to the County-owned aqueduct which runs underneath Sunrise Highway; rehabilitating and lining a 7.3-mile stretch of the 72-inch abandoned aqueduct; and building a 1.6-mile, 72-inch force main from the aqueduct to the existing Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant’s ocean outfall pipe, which is seven miles long and will carry treated water three miles into the Atlantic Ocean. The new force main segments will be constructed using micro-tunneling 20 to 60 feet below the ground surface.
DEC and the Nassau County Department of Public Works are hosting a virtual public information session via Zoom for the Bay Park Conveyance Project on Thursday, November 12, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The Project Team will describe the Bay Park Conveyance Project and will be available to address questions from residents and stakeholders. A web link and call-in number for the Zoom Meeting is available at www.bayparkconveyance.org. For additional information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senator Todd Kaminsky, Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee, said, “For decades the Western Bays have been poisoned by effluent from the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant. Now, through the leadership of Governor Cuomo, Senator Schumer and Commissioner Seggos, we are finally implementing this innovative and game-changing solution. This is the beginning of the resurgence of a vital waterway that will lead to a better economy and a more resilient South Shore.”
Senator John E. Brooks said, “The Bay Park Conveyance Project continues to advance thanks to this strong New York State – Nassau County partnership and local support. By restoring the Western Bays’ ecosystem we will bolster our coastal resiliency and protect our communities from future storms and high waters. I thank Governor Cuomo for his dedication to fast-tracking this project, which will create new jobs and support economic development while protecting our environment for future generations.”
Assembly Member Melissa Miller said, “I am very pleased to hear that a design-build contractor has been selected for the construction of the Bay Park Conveyance Project. In these uncertain times due to COVID-19, it is good news that the project is continuing as planned.”
Assembly Member Taylor Darling said, “Improving our water quality and storm resiliency in Long Island is a top priority for our overall infrastructure. I am elated we have hit yet another milestone with the Bay Park Conveyance Project. I want to thank everyone involved for their hard work and I look forward to the successful completion of this project.”
Assembly Member Judy Griffin said, “The Bay Park Conveyance Project has been a long awaited and crucial project to the future of water quality of Long Island’s Western Bays and protecting our coast communities from storm surges. Today’s announcement is a big step in the overhaul of the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant and its infrastructure upgrades to reduce the harmful impacts of nitrogen pollution on our ecosystems in order to strengthen Long Island communities. Thank you to Governor Cuomo for his leadership and continuing to make this critical project a reality.”
Assembly Member David McDonough said, “”I am pleased to be informed that a vendor has been selected for the Bay Park Conveyance Project which will result in the effluent being piped through the Cedar Creek outflow pipe extending two miles into the ocean and relieving the nitrogen effluent from overwhelming the Western Bay.”
Nassau County Legislator Kevan Abrahams, District 1, said, “Progress at Bay Park underscores New York State and Nassau County’s commitment to investing in robust sewer infrastructure that enhances our quality of life, stimulates economic growth, and safeguards precious natural resources like the Western Bays. We thank Governor Cuomo for his steadfast commitment to environmental preservation initiatives like the Bay Park Conveyance Project.”
Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford, District 4, said, “I am grateful that this conveyance project is moving forward. Our community will see the benefits when the effluence is redirected from being pumped into Reynolds Channel. Marine Life will return and marsh land will regenerate helping to curb flooding.”
Nassau County Legislator Debra Mule, District 5, said, “Today’s announcement is a tremendous positive step toward embarking upon a project that will reap tremendous benefits for the Western Bays and transform the ecological health of Reynolds Channel. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his focus on the Bay Park Conveyance Project as the cornerstone of our regional environmental preservation strategy.”
Nassau County Legislator Steven Rhoads, District 19, said, “I have been optimistic about the plan from the beginning as it has the potential to be the single most important environmental project for Nassau’s south shore in the last 50 years. With the State’s assurance of the project’s safety for the residents in my district, the opportunity to restore the Western Bays is one which we simply can’t pass up.”
Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin said, “I am pleased that the Bay Park Conveyance project is moving forward towards the goal of improving water quality and storm resiliency.”
The Bay Park Conveyance Project is one of the three projects that make up the Western Bays Resiliency Initiative established to improve water quality and advance storm resiliency by addressing nitrogen discharges to Reynolds Channel and the impaired Western Bays. The two additional projects are the Long Beach Consolidation Project and the Point Lookout Sewer Feasibility Study.
In September 2019, the Nassau County Legislature unanimously passed a $408 million bond resolution to fund the Bay Park Conveyance Project, which brought the total bond authorization for the Conveyance Project up to $460 million when combined with bond ordinances from 2003, 2008, and 2011. This Bay Park Conveyance Project builds on $830 million in State and federal funds previously invested in the multi-year resilient rebuild of the BPSTP. These projects, combined along with other State and County investments in resiliency, support the restoration of the Western Bays, protect important marine resources, and boost local economies with the added benefit of better protection to coastal communities against future damage from storms.