Contractor selected for $439M Bay Park Conveyance Project

Originally published in Long Island Herald

Local officials announced that 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.

The plan will send treated effluent, or wastewater, from the Bay Park Water Reclamation Facility to an ocean outfall pipe at the Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Wantagh, using a 100- year-old aqueduct beneath Sunrise Highway. The goal of the project is to spark the ecological recovery of the degraded Western Bays by reducing nitrogen released there and into Reynolds Channel each year, and create conditions for a rapid rebound of ecosystem renewal.

“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,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.. “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 using 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, officials said, which would have cost more than $600 million and taken nearly a decade to construct. The 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.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will manage the design-build contract, and the Nassau County Department of Public Works will own and operate the new facilities.

“For decades the Western Bays have been poisoned by effluent from the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant,” State Sen. Todd Kaminsky said. “ . . . This is the beginning of the resurgence of a vital waterway that will lead to a better economy and a more resilient South Shore.”

The Nassau County Legislature is set to vote on the contract on Nov. 23, and then it must go through a series of reviews from the county comptroller, country control board and County Executive Laura Curran.

—Mike Smollins