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Three Years and Counting

West Shore Road repaving project stalled

Residents eagerly anticipating a smooth ride on a repaved West Shore Road will have to keep waiting. Exactly how long is not clear at this point. Although a spokesman for Nassau’s Department of Public Works told the Port News in April that the project would begin in July, it is now apparent that this was an overly optimistic estimate.

Residents using the road to access the soccer fields, the golf club, the residential communities along Fairway Drive and the beach, or transiting between Port Washington and Roslyn, will continue to have to slow to a crawl or swerve wildly to avoid the deep potholes which local residents often describe as “craters.”

The continuous delays in the project have been caused by a number of factors, many, but not all, a result of a complicated oversight.

The federal funds supplying 80% of the money for the project come with stringent oversight requirements. The state Department of Transportation (DOT) was tasked with ensuring that the county met all structural and financial requirements before getting a green light from Albany. For the last year, the state DOT has been engaged in a dialogue with the county Department of Public Works (DPW), which is responsible for the maintenance of the road, to clarify structural aspects of the project.

Finally, in April, the project received the green light from Albany and the Request for Bid was formalized and released. The DPW spent most of June evaluating the responses before finally recommending Posillico Inc. of Farmingdale. The contract needs to be approved by the county Legislature, which will be adjourning for the month of August. This approval needs to happen quickly to avoid additional delay.

The hunt for the source of the mysterious leaks that flood the road — a major cause of the recurring road deterioration — has also slowed the project. Underground springs bubbling to the surface were found to be the culprit, and the problem will be addressed by a special drain system.

So when will this road will be fixed? DPW spokesperson Michael Martino could not provide a timetable for the repairs. These projects are packaged in “phases” with other county projects, and the West Shore Road repair’s priority within its “phase” is not known. The contractor will be required to provide a work schedule before the project begins.

The low bid for the entire phase is $5,754,547, according to Martino, but since costs are not broken out by location, there is no dollar amount associated specifically with the West Shore drainage system and repaving.

The total project will take 270 days. That’s more than a year. At the moment there is no more precise estimate of the length of time it will take for the West Shore Road repaving.