Written by Karen Gellender Friday, 11 March 2011 00:00
Many elected officials have found themselves in the uncomfortable position of announcing scheduled improvements for pothole-ridden Jackson Avenue, only to have that schedule rendered moot when the latest unexpected development in the troubled road’s history delays things yet again. Perhaps for that reason, Town Supervisor John Venditto was reluctant to give a groundbreaking date for the project at the Tuesday, March 8 town board meeting, but the board did finally award the contract for the project that day.
Among a full slate of resolutions, the board passed Resolution No. 237-2011, “Resolution pertaining to the award of Contract No. H10-033, Drainage and Highway Improvements for Jackson Avenue, Syosset, New York.”
This milestone comes almost a year after it was announced that the Town of Oyster Bay would step in to help the county find a way to repair the dangerous road. In April 2010, after the federal government revoked stimulus funds that were slated for the project, Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs approached Town Supervisor Venditto about finding a way to get the project back on the agenda. The town stepped forward to fill the void left by revoked funds, and planned to split the cost of the project with the county, an estimated $6 million. At that time, it was believed that construction might start as early as mid-2010. The county legislator passed the IMA (inter-municipal agreement) to transfer control of the road to the town on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2010.
Laura Schultz, president of Residents for a More Beautiful Syosset, thanked Venditto for his leadership on the project. She also thanked the board members, and everyone involved with Residents for a More Beautiful Syosset for their support. “It’s been a long time coming, but boy, are we happy today,” said Schultz. “We look forward to working with the Town of Oyster Bay DPW Commissioner Richie Betz and his entire staff to make Jackson Avenue safer and more beautiful for the hundreds of pedestrians and thousands of vehicles that use the road on a daily basis.”
Venditto responded that, while the town board was happy to play a role in making the project a reality, it was the residents of Syosset who had provided the motivation and drive to get things done, not the government.
Patricia Aitken, although she spoke during public participation primarily about a different topic, noted that as a Syosset resident who drives on Jackson Avenue every day, she, too, was very pleased to see the resolution approved.
The contract has been awarded to the company Carlo Lizza & Sons Paving Inc. in Hicksville; when contacted by The Syosset Jericho Tribune, John O’Neil (who works in sales at the company), said they had bid on the project, but they had not yet received the official letter from the town that they had been awarded the contract, although they anticipated receiving it shortly.
Currently riddled with potholes, the slated improvements for the section of Jackson Avenue between the intersection with Jericho Turnpike and the LIRR tracks include repaving, drainage, re-alignment, construction of new sidewalks, and the additions of shoulders and a turning lane. The road will also receive an additional traffic light.
On March 30, there will be an informational meeting at Syosset High School on the construction project at 7:30 p.m.; the public is invited.