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Syosset’s Jackson Avenue Project Hits a Speed Bump

The Department of Public Works (DPW) secured approximately $3.6 million in stimulus funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for the Jackson Avenue project. The project includes improvements to Jackson Avenue from Jericho Turnpike to the railroad tracks and also includes the realignment of Jackson Avenue along that stretch of the road.

The process was moving forward and the DPW said that the review process, which was the next phase, was nearing completion and they were preparing for open bidding on the project, which was scheduled to take place on Nov. 5.

On Nov. 4, one day prior to the bidding opening, DPW was informed by New York State that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) was still doing a detailed review of the project documents and the bids should not be opened on Nov. 5 so as not to jeopardize the ARRA Funding, this according to Raymond Stefanowicz, P.E., Senior Deputy Commissioner for the Nassau County Department of Public Works. “Project Certification and acceptance by FHWA must be received prior to Construction Letting,” Stefanowicz explained.

The morning of Nov. 5, when the bids were to be opened, DPW said they issued a special notice to the contractors that the bid date was being postponed until the special certification was received from the FHWA.

Work is already being done on Jackson Avenue. According to the DPW, the final construction plans for the contract have been coordinated with the local utility companies, in anticipation of the construction, to allow the utility companies to begin their necessary utility pole relocations.

“It is extremely frustrating when dealing with a project of this size to pinpoint the exact starting time,” said Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs, who has been working tirelessly with residents to get this construction completed. “Fortunately, the delays which have occurred are fairly common to this type of construction, dealing with condemnation, acquisition, court delays and, now, Federal Stimulus money approvals. However, I am 100 percent comfortable that we will be seeing a new, safer, and more accessible Jackson Avenue very soon. It is truly one of the most important issues I have dealt with. I wish delays were not inherent in this type of construction, but, unfortunately, they are. The people of Syosset have my word and I believe that they know I stand by my word, always.”

Updates on the project will be provided by Jacobs and will be included in the Syosset-Jericho Tribune.