Here’s what you should know about the project saving Nassau’s Western Bays region


The Village of Rockville Centre announced that The Bay Park Conveyance Project is underway and making great progress.

Since March 2021, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and the Nassau County Department of Public Works (NCDPW) have been working together toward a common goal of improving the region’s water quality and storm resiliency.

The Western Bays flow between the neighborhoods of East Rockaway, Oceanside, Island Park, Baldwin, Rockville Centre, Freeport and Long Beach Barrier Island. Once a productive fishing area, the Western Bays have been plagued with excess nitrogen by the wastewater treatment facilities that discharge directly into its waters.

Over time, the discharge has led to a loss of fishing capacity, as well as a degradation of water quality and the marsh ecosystem. Because of this, the deteriorated marshlands did not have the resiliency to withstand Superstorm Sandy back in 2012.

The hope of the Bay Park Conveyance Project is to enhance the Western Bays’ existing wastewater management infrastructure, which in turn would jumpstart an ecological recovery of the marshlands.

Here’s how the project works

A new pump station will be constructed at the existing South Shore Water Reclamation Facility.

The project incorporates two micro tunneling segments: one extending two miles on the west side from the South Shore Water Reclamation Facility to Sunrise Highway and the other extending 1.6 miles on the east side from Sunrise Highway to Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant.

The plan is to run a two-mile-long force main sewer from the South Shore Water Reclamation Facility to an existing aqueduct under Sunrise Highway.

Located 20 to 60 feet below the surface, the pipe will transport treated water from the South Shore Water Reclamation Facility to the Cedar Creek WPCP.

From Cedar Creek, the treated water will be released about three miles offshore in the Atlantic Ocean through an ocean outfall pipe to a one-mile diffuser array with 120 diffuser ports. Additionally, the project is also rehabilitating an existing 7.3-mile aqueduct beneath Sunrise Highway using a technique called sliplining.

New pumps and a receiving connection will also be built at the Cedar Creek WPCP.

Long-term environmental benefits of this project include storm protection following years of coastline decline, cleaner water for residents, and an ecological recovery of the Western Bays that will allow for water-based recreational and commercial opportunities in the future.

What’s going on now

Progress on the Sunrise Highway sliplining, Bay Park micro tunneling, and Cedar Creek micro tunneling continued this month.

In regards to Sunrise Highway, work takes place overnight Monday through Friday, from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. During these hours, two eastbound lanes are closed, while one eastbound lane stays open.

In addition, intermittent daytime work may take place and temporary single-lane closures on Sunrise Highway may happen for short periods of time during the day to support construction and ensure driver safety, authorities said.

For Rockville Centre, those traveling in the area can expect the following:

  • At Pit C, located on the south side of Sunrise Highway just west of Morris Avenue, crews are installing a support of excavation in preparation for sliplining.
  • The following information is about Pit D and Pit A/Bay Park Shaft 9:
    • A construction entrance is established at Pit D, located at Joyce Field in Rockville Centre on the north side of Sunrise Highway, for storage and laydown of materials.
    • The sidewalk in front of Joyce Field, between Morris Avenue and N. Forest Avenue will remain closed for the duration of the Project until 2024. Maintenance and protection of traffic and work zone traffic control signage are in place to assist and direct pedestrians.
    • When walking past Pit D, pedestrians are directed to cross Sunrise Highway at either N. Forest Avenue or Morris Avenue.
    • A construction entrance is set at BP9/Pit A, located at the Sunrise Highway/Merrick Road Interchange in Rockville Centre.
      • These pits are off the roadway and as such, use of the area is not expected to impact the traveling public.
      • There will be a consistent presence of construction vehicles and crews.
    • This month at Pit D, crews will continue to install SOE in advance of excavation and in preparation for sliplining.
    • At Pit A, site excavation is ongoing.

Residents in the areas surrounding the Bay Park shaft sites will notice an increase in construction vehicles and crews. Work activity for this aspect of the project occurs Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., unless otherwise specified. Saturday work is expected to take place this month as well.

Cedar Creek microtunneling work occurs Monday to Friday, between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The project is expected to be completed by 2024.

To see the full list of construction projects and how they impact your neighborhood in Nassau County, click here to view this month’s work locations.

Top photo: A mirror image of the Head of the Grand Canal in Bay Park. The Bay Park Conveyance Gallery.