It’s been a bumpy ride for quite some time for Floral Park residents who drive down the busy Floral Boulevard in the village’s west end section. However, that bumpy ride will turn into smooth cruising when the boulevard is reconstructed in the near future.
“Tonight I want to mention the approval and award to do design work on Floral Boulevard from Verbena to Larch [Avenues],” said trustee Archie Cheng at the village’s most recent board meeting at village hall. “Floral Boulevard has always been a problematic road and we tried to figure out how we were going to do this road at a cost of this road. It’s wider than most roads in the village and it is longer than any other road, except for those that are not in our jurisdiction and the cost was prohibitive.”
According to Cheng, during negotiations prior to the third track project that is currently ongoing through the village, it got testy at times.
“If you think back to 2016 and how hard we were fighting for the village and the things we couldn’t ask for and the things that we asked for that we shouldn’t have asked for, one of the benefits of our negotiations during that period of time was a promise by the State of New York for a substantial sum of money that will allow us to do the repaving and the reconstruction of Floral Boulevard without doing it piecemeal. The entire length will be done and you could imagine how many years it would have taken by our allocated assets for road improvements if we had to buy enough into three sections. The work would be continuous. The State of New York gave us the extra money that we didn’t expect. That’s why Floral Boulevard is going to be repaired in its entirety at one time.”
According to Floral Park Mayor Dominick Longobardi the village is receiving money from the state, which was negotiated as part of the village’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) associated with the third track project for Floral Boulevard.
“The full reconstruction of Floral Boulevard will include roadways, curbs, drainage and driveway aprons,” said Longobardi. “[The reconstruction] has not been scheduled yet, but preliminary design work is being done now.”
According to Longobardi, the village has not received a current estimate yet for how much the reconstruction, which can take approximately six to eight months to complete, will cost.
In the village’s MOU with the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), there is a Project Community Fund clause, which says $4 million will be set aside as a general reserve, while $16 million will be allocated to the affected villages within the third track, the Towns of North Hempstead and Oyster Bay and Nassau County.
“The amount to be allocated to each recipient shall be based on a formula developed by the LIRR that takes into account the relative amount of work to be done in each village…based on geographic track, work, grade crossing work, station work, bridge work and substation work,” said the MOU.
In terms of the LIRR and the village, South Tyson Avenue has been closed for the past few weeks in order to allow LIRR and 3TC, who are the design-build contractors for the third track project, to install the brand new South Tyson Avenue bridge.
“This work is in preparation of the new bridge that will carry the third track,” said Cheng. “The village has authorized a closure of South Tyson from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. every weekday and some weekends. We have allowed the closure so that the majority of work on South Tyson can be completed by the start of the school year. The installation of the bridge will be on the weekend of Aug. 17 through 18. There will be full closure that weekend and the rail road mainline will be shut down.”