Three weeks after county legislation passed landmark bills for sewer projects — and nine years after Hurricane Sandy — construction has begun on the Carlls River expansion project in Babylon.
According to a post from the official Facebook page of Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone, a shovels-in-the-ground celebration happened Friday for the installation of a 48-inch pipe running beneath Southern State Parkway.
This work on the new Carlls River expansion will connect homes in the Wyandanch area to the existing collection system that carries wastewater to the treatment plant at Bergen Point in West Babylon.
The historic sewer expansion will also connect nearly 6,000 parcels along the South Shore to sewers, create hundreds of construction jobs and eliminate thousands of cesspool and septic systems “that have been identified as a primary cause of the fouling of local bays,” according to the Facebook post.
The ceremony coincided with the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy’s U.S. landfall, which gave way to the Suffolk County Coastal Resiliency Initiative (SCCRI).
Through that initiative, the Carlls River expansion, as well as the simultaneously approved Forge River expansion in Brookhavene Town are “being constructed with federal and state grant funds as part of a plan to make the region’s coastline more resistant to storm surge in the wake of Superstorm Sandy,” Bellone said.
“This is the largest infrastructure investment in Suffolk County in 40 years, and will inject $400 million into our local economy, create hundreds of construction jobs, and restore wetlands to make our coastline more resistant to climate change,” he added.
The installation of sewer collection system piping in roadways and the connection of individual homes will begin in November, the post said, as will work on the Forge River project.
‘for the next generation’
The legislation that made both sewer expansions possible was passed on Oct. 5. At that time, the county executive’s office issues a press release included statements from elected officials from state, county and various civic and labor groups, including County Legislator Jason Richberg of the 15th district, where work began yesterday.
“I am proud to stand alongside County Executive Bellone and my colleagues in supporting this historic investment in our sewers,” Richberg said in the release. “This has been a long time coming — sewers have been a hot topic in the 15th district for many years. I’m happy to be able to tell the residents that have gone without sewer access for decades that the wait is almost over.
“This is an important investment in our future that will help keep our county’s water quality and overall environment healthy and thriving for the next generation of Suffolk County residents.”
Top: Curtesy of the official Facebook page of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.