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Shared-use path along Ocean Parkway completed ahead of schedule

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Cyclists, runners, skaters, and walkers can now enjoy a new scenic path when traveling along the entire length of Jones Beach Island. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the completion of an extension to the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway shared-use path in a statement on March 3, emphasizing that the project has been finished three months ahead of schedule.

“We are making record investments in our tourism industry and state infrastructure to enrich the lives of Long Island residents,” Gov. Cuomo said in his statement. “The completion of this project, three months ahead of schedule, is a testament to our commitment to bringing safe and smart transportation alternatives to Long Island all while highlighting Long Island’s natural beauty and rich beachside history.”

The $16.2-million extension of the shared-use path was first announced by the governor in October 2019. The path’s final leg is approximately 10 miles long — stretching from Tobay Beach in Oyster Bay to Captree State Park in Babylon and Islip.

The entire shared-use path along Jones Beach Island took a total of eight years of work. The first phase was completed in 2013, running from the Ellen Farrant Memorial Bikeway along the Wantagh State Parkway to the Jones Beach Boardwalk. 

The second phase that connects Jones Beach to Tobay Beach was completed in 2014, and the trail also connects to the Jones Beach Shared Use Leisure Path on the west end of the barrier island. This trail was completed ahead of schedule in 2019

“Tourism on Long Island is a $6.3 billion annual industry that draws visitors from around the globe to experience Long Island’s world-class beaches and extensive outdoor offerings,” said Kristen Jarnagin, Discover Long Island president and CEO.The addition of this new oceanfront boasts stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and Jones Beach is certain to be a new favorite for both residents and visitors alike.”

While travelers can experience breathtaking views of the ocean views and Long Island vegetation on the path, there are also educational panels along the path giving people the opportunity to learn more about Long Island’s history and natural elements on the path.

Cuomo assures that there have been safety measures put in place for both path users and motorists to calm traffic, including curves in the path, green-painted crosswalks, and reflective cable guardrails. 

According to the statement, the path “was designed and built to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act,” and there are now new bicycle parking areas for path users at Gilgo Beach, Cedar Beach Marina, and Captree State Park. 

Signage was added as well to direct users and show distances to nearby public facilities.

For more information, visit ny.gov.

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Top: Final section of the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway shared-use path (Credit: ny.gov)