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Bids For Bruce Terrace Flood Project Up For Grabs

Construction phase to start once bids accepted for Mineola, Carle Place, Nassau County project components

What began as an idea culminated into a plan. The plan became a project, which has seen more ups and downs than, during heavy downpours, the rain-flooded streets it will affect.

Residents on the border of Mineola and Carle Place near Bruce Terrace and Fairfield Avenue have had hopes of dry streets for decades. Three municipalities have been working out the kinks to get a flood remediation plan on track. Actual construction work is just over the horizon.

The Village of Mineola is currently accepting bids on the construction phase of the Bruce Terrace Flood Remediation Project, according to Public Works Superintendent Tom Rini. Design phases were completed some time in June.

Mineola, along with the Town of North Hempstead and Nassau County are working together on the project. Mineola would handle project components along Dow Avenue, Pilgrim Street and Sheridan Boulevard. The town would provide relief along the old Motor Parkway property north of Westbury Avenue near Glen Cove Road while the county would do work along Sheridan Boulevard from Raff Avenue, crossing Westbury Avenue.

The bid opening was made official on July 12. Rini said he met with the county and town the week of July 7.

“The town is just about done with their portion of the project,” Rini said. “In fact, [on July 12] we did some tests on the property just to see what the soil looks like.”

The county’s department of public works is currently reviewing Dvirka and Bartilucci’s (D&B) engineering plan and may or may not suggest changes to the plan. D&B was contracted by all three municipalities to develop conceptual design work to provide drainage relief and for the sake of continuity, according to village officials.

“All design components are being handled by D&B,” said Rini. “It was originally discussed that way. All three entities agreed that it would be better to have one for coordination purposes.”

D&B uses on-site engineers to make sure everything goes according to plan, village officials revealed. According to Rini, he’s waiting to hear back on the town and county movements.

“I don’t know if [the town] has submitted its plan to its DPW,” Rini stated.

Village officials anticipate bid packages within the next few weeks. The shift from the planning to the construction stage indicates that relief in what’s considered the lowest point of elevation in Mineola is starting to come to fruition.

Town officials confirmed to the Mineola American on July 13 that North Hempstead would also open up the bidding process for its end of the project. The town will need authorization to go to bid on draining improvements from the North Hempstead Town Board on July 31.

“The town is moving forward in a coordination approach with our state, county and village partners to seek resolution on the Carle Place and Mineola flood mitigation project,” said Supervisor Jon Kaiman.  “We continue to work with our engineers, residents and government officials to seek resolution to this decades old problem.”

In the Beginning

Under then-mayor Jack Martins, the village, county and town reached an agreement in May of 2010 to address the flood issues on the eastern border of the village. New York State granted $2.4 million to the project, to be shared equally among the three municipalities in 2010. Funding was pulled after a seat change in the 7th Senate District.

Current State Senator Martins had the grants restored. It was stipulated at the time that the monies be used only on this project in respect to the guidelines put forth by the state.

Each of the three municipalities received $800,000 for flood mitigation, which was first reported in the July 27, 2011 issue of the Mineola American, rather than granting all the funds to one party. Any additional costs above the approved grants would not be funded by the state and the respective party would be responsible for those uncovered costs.

“It’s great to see the village  moving forward,” Martins said. “It’s a very important project for the Mineola and Carle Place communities. People have waited a long time to see a shovel in the ground. Congratulations to the entire Village of Mineola.”

Since homes were built in the area of and on Bruce Terrace on the border of Mineola and Carle Place 60 years ago, flooding has ensued during times of heavy rainfall. The area around Bruce Terrace is essentially, the funnel of all the rainfall because of the flow and gravity issue, according to Rini.

“We believe that the mutual commitment reached by Nassau County, the Village of Mineola, and the Town of North Hempstead is a significant indication of the willingness of three government agencies to significantly protect the residents suffering from this flooding issue and foremost doing what is right and what affords the best value to our taxpayers,” County Executive Edward P. Mangano said in 2010, when the deal was being discussed.

In terms of gravity, water in the area flows west to east, starting from Sheridan Boulevard and north to south from Jericho Turnpike, according to public works officials. The homes in that area sit in the lowest part of Mineola, which is where all the water flows. Roslyn Road is the dividing line in terms of the change in the water flow, once it crosses over it west to east.

Under the geographic area of Bruce Terrace, Dow Avenue, Jerome Avenue, Fairfield Avenue and the surrounding area, sits drainage lines. Those drainage lines collect that water and move it underground into catch basins.

During times of heavy rainfall, the drainage lines don’t transport the water fast enough, which causes the storm-drains to fill up and pool in the Bruce Terrace area. Carle Place homes sit directly behind the east side of Bruce Terrace.

Minor Hiccups

The project hit a slight snag after discussions concerning an intermunicipal entry and access agreement (IMA) between Mineola and North Hempstead hit an impasse. The town insisted an IMA was needed which grants usage of village property so it can do necessary work to maintain land north of Westbury Avenue in Carle Place.

The IMA has to define how the town uses the land. It’s more of a definition than a simple permission to take the land, which makes it more complicated, according to village officials.

Legal protections were required in the agreement that protects residents most affected by the reconstruction of the areas in question. Considering the property the town would have obtained in this agreement is public, and private property abuts, more “red tape” issues come into play.

According to a joint statement released on Feb. 10, both the town and village were working on a finalized land-use agreement, which would authorize the town to build and maintain the recharge basin on the property.

The agreement had become a source of contention between the two municipalities. The IMA was granted to North Hempstead on March 7.

Flood Remediation Project Details

The cost of the Bruce Terrace flood remediation project to Mineola totaled $1.7 million. The county cost mirrored the villages total, with the town cost finalized at $1.1 million.

According to a construction report obtained by the Mineola American, a construction start date is unknown at this time. Nassau recently received cost and construction service estimates and finalized an “open services” contract with D&B.

The Mineola side of the project entailed the installation of two new drainage manholes, four new catch basins and the removal of approximately 300 feet of existing 18-inch drainage pipe, according to the report. The pipe would be replaced with a new 30-inch drainage pipe on Bruce Terrace.

Over 30 feet of an existing 36-inch drainage pipe in the village’s south recharge basin would be replaced with a 48-inch pipe, the report read. The village would demolish an existing manhole, which would be replaced by a new 8-foot diameter manhole and 48-inch headwall.

Five new catch basins would be installed, with five 6-foot manholes and 1,420 feet of 18 or 24-inch drainage pipe on Liberty Avenue with a new outfall structure into the Mineola catch basin to provide storm water relief to East Second Street, according to the report.

The project would also split the existing Mineola recharge basin into two storm water discharge areas by constructing a retaining structure so each water discharge is separate. The splitting is necessary because according to the report, storm water will be traveling from four different pipes at different elevations, according to the document.

Storm water would arrive at different times, which prompted the splitting. According to Rini, this would ensure that there would be no “back water condition wherein there is pressure from drainage water.”

Nassau County authorized its end of the project and as of Jan. 26, Mineola received a confirmation letter that was sent to D&B from the county, which gave the go-ahead on Nassau’s portion.

The county would install two new catch basins and five new 6-foot diameter manholes and 1,715 feet of 36 or 48-inch bypass on Sheridan Boulevard from Raff Avenue, crossing Westbury Avenue and entering Mineola’s recharge basin, read the report. All existing drainage structures would be reconnected to the new bypass.

The Town of North Hempstead would provide drainage improvements, including installation of new catch basins and pipes on three to four streets near the border of Mineola and Carle Place. A recharge basin would be built on Mineola land located north of Westbury Avenue near Glen Cove Road.