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NYS DOT Approves New Entrance For TR Park At Audrey Avenue

Work needs DOT and LIRR approval with a June 2015 deadline

The Town of Oyster Bay received approval from the NYS DOT in an Aug. 28 letter, to relocate the existing at-grade pedestrian crossing over the Oyster Bay Branch of the LIRR from Maxwell Avenue to Audrey Avenue. The move will make the entrance to Theodore Roosevelt Park visible from the Audrey Avenue bandstand crossroads.

Bill Bell, Oyster Bay Railroad Museum development director said, “The letter of approval from the NYS DOT brought smiles to a lot of faces this week. The relocation of the TR Park pedestrian entrance has been a long held goal of the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum and our community organization partners. This will mark a truly transformative step in the revitalization of the Audrey Ave. extension, as well as the rest of the downtown. 

“The museum is truly grateful for the enthusiastic support of the Oyster Bay Main Street Association, the Oyster Bay Chamber of Commerce, and the numerous other community and civic organizations that helped make this happen,” he added.

The Oyster Bay Railroad Museum has a design for a plaza in their area at the end of Audrey Avenue designed for them by Saratoga Associates. It will finish off the area by the new entrance to TR Park. Mr. Bell said, “We are hoping that when the work is done for moving the pedestrian walkway, the plaza work can somehow fold into the whole project since they will have the materials and equipment needed for the work at that time and location.”

Approvals Needed

The move is contingent on several points including that all warning devices installed at the crossing be in accordance with applicable federal, state and railroad safety standards; all the design plans and warning devices need to be submitted to the NYS DOT’s Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Safety Section for review and approval; all the design, installation and construction costs for the proposed crossing should be paid by the Town of Oyster Bay, (the LIRR will construct the crossing); the LIRR will be responsible for all future maintenance costs on the crossing, and lastly, the Maxwell Avenue crossing be closed.

The DOT added that the work must be completed on or before June 30, 2015 or the approval will be rescinded without any further action by them.

The Town of Oyster Bay asked for the relocation in line with their work on restoring and renovating Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park. The schedule for the work is to be announced.  

The town explained, “While we have had an agreement with the LIRR on the scope of work based upon our conceptual plans, our engineers will now complete the final design of the new crossing in conjunction with the LIRR. As a condition of our approval, the NYSDOT must review and approve these plans which will add an undetermined amount of time to our schedule for construction.”

The town spokesperson Brian DeVine said, “The town would like to complete this work as part of the Phase 2 Improvements project for the park, but as approval by the NYSDOT is now required for the crossing portion of the work, the crossing may be constructed separately, depending on the time it will take to receive NYSDOT approval and what additional requirements the NYSDOT may have above what is shown on the conceptual plans shown at the hearing. 

“As far as budget, if the current plans are not significantly altered, work will be performed under the Phase 2 budget.  If there are substantial changes to the plans, work may be delayed to the next budget cycle.”

At the moment, the town has no estimate as to the cost of the crossing. Mr. DeVine explained, “Since final design documents have not yet been produced, and since there is the potential for changes to the plans after NYSDOT review, it is premature to release estimated costs at this time.”

News

If you missed the 6th annual champagne party at Coe Hall in Planting Fields, put it on your calendar for next year, because this is the party of the summer. A total of 175 guests attended, and many of them were in costume, a new addition to the popular champagne party. The always ebullient Henry Joyce, executive director of Planting Fields Foundation, greeted his guests with his date Daphne, a 3-month-old long haired Dachshund, who is a companion for his Great Dane, Lucy.

“This is a splendid event to celebrate Coe Hall and Planting Fields; everything looks so wonderful in the summer,” said Joyce. “The gardens are glorious and we have a new exhibition to celebrate and it’s just so lovely to be out here in these gardens.”

An expert’s tips on bringing the

best of your garden into your home

Right now, Oyster Bay is in bloom. From the well-tended gardens of Planting Fields to unmowed patches near the Shu Swamp preserve, flowers are not just beautify our community, they also are calling out to us to bring them inside our homes to add color and fragrance. You don’t hear them? Trust me, the flowers in your garden are even calling you by name.

But don’t just stuff a bouquet in a vase. Make them look as good and last as long as possible. To find out how to do that, as well as how to improve your backyard flora, I asked Scott Lucas, the greenhouse supervisor of Old Westbury Gardens for some advice. He invited to join him in his cutting garden.


Sports

Kevin Mercier, 39, of Oyster Bay, led a large contingent of local runners in the Lynne, Gartner, Dunne & Covello Sands Point Sprint 5 Kilometer Run, held on the grounds of Nassau County’s Sands Point Preserve on Saturday morning, Aug. 9. Mercier was the 18th finisher overall and third in the 35-39 age group with a time of  21 minutes, 7 seconds.

Other local runners winning awards at the Sands Point Preserve were Nicholas Cuddy of Oyster Bay, who earned first place honors in the Clydesdale Weight Division with a time of 25:53, Joanne Gallo of Oyster Bay, who  took home the first place award in the women’s 65-69 age group with a time of 28:11, and Anja Hermann of Oyster Bay, third place woman in the 20-24 age group, who finished in 28:47.

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay will once again be the site of the Long Island’s premiere multisport event – the 27th annual Runner’s Edge - Town of Oyster Bay Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 23, and the Runner’s Edge – Town of Oyster Bay Junior Triathlon for youngsters ages 8-13 on Sunday, Aug. 24.

The Saturday main event is a “sprint” triathlon, which consists of a half-mile swim in Oyster Bay harbor, a one loop 15 kilometer bike ride over hill and dale through beautiful Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove and Laurel Hollow, and a 5 kilometer run through Mill Neck and Brookville, “up” to Planting Fields Arboretum and “down”to the finish at back at  Roosevelt  Park.


Calendar

Bayville Car Show

Friday, Aug. 22

Junior Triathlon

Sunday, Aug. 24

Historic Church Service And Tour

Sunday, Aug. 24



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
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