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Letter: West Shore Road Reconstruction

The reconstruction of West Shore Road is an issue that I have had direct and indirect involvement with since 1994 when I was first elected to the Bayville Village Board. That is why I share the huge level of frustration of so many residents who rely on this critical road into and out of Bayville, Mill Neck and Oyster Bay.

During Super Storm Sandy, West Shore Road fell into Oyster Bay Harbor. This collapse should never have happened! Working with Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton and many concerned local business owners, cycling enthusiasts, and environmentalists we were able to finally convince the Republican administration to put millions of dollars in repair contracts on the legislative calendar in the spring and summer of 2012 - months before Sandy was a blip on the radar.

In what I view as a cynical political move, the repair contracts were yanked off the legislative calendar last summer. This halted the scheduled repairs and as we all know the road collapsed, thus inconveniencing thousands of residents of Bayville, Mill Neck, and Oyster Bay and negatively affecting dozens of local businesses.

As the current repairs have finally been rolled out, I have been watching closely and will continue to do so. Just last week I was sorry to have to visit West Shore Road to inspect a crumbling portion of the road after being alerted by a concerned Bayville resident. This recent damage renewed my fear that the other portions of the road are in dire shape. We need to immediately create both short and long term plans to ensure our community does not have to go through another horrible ordeal. Hurricane season is approaching.

As I have advocated in the past, I will look for every possible way to allow maximum pedestrian and bicycle access to West Shore Road  so that its gorgeous vistas of the harbor and surrounding areas can by enjoyed by all.  

Recently, the Nassau County Legislature voted into law the “Complete Streets” initiative, which as an attorney in the Legislature, I helped to get passed. Along with Legislator DeRiggi-Whitton, I will be pushing for West Shore Road to be included in this program.  

Dave Gugerty

Democratic Chief of Staff – Nassau County Legislature