Nassau County and New York State will publish early next year a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for interested design build teams for the Bay Park Conveyance Project, as part of an initiative to restore Long Island’s Western Bays.
The Nassau County Legislature earlier in the year approved a $408 million bond resolution to help fund the project, intended to stop discharging treated sewage into the Reynolds Channel and divert it to the Cedar Creek Sewage Treatment Plant, which discharges into the ocean.
This planned work, coupled with the near-completion of the $830 million Bay Park Wastewater Treatment Plant rebuild and other state and county investments in resiliency projects, will provide better protection against future damage from storms like Sandy, Irene and Lee, says a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
“This innovative project is showing the world the power of investing in building stronger, more resilient infrastructure systems,” Cuomo said in the statement. “Our partnership with Nassau County on the Bay Park Conveyance Project will help transform, restore and revive Long Island’s Western Bays, while helping ensure this vital resource is protected from future extreme weather events.”
“Great projects are led by a great team. I am grateful that Governor Cuomo and the NYSDEC have partnered with the County to clean up the Western Bays of Nassau County. “The State and County are seeking a highly qualified team of design-build firms to clean up the Bays, restore the marine ecosystem, and restore storm/buffering marshes to make the South Shore more storm-resilient,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation will evaluate firms submitting qualifications and select the most qualified design-build teams to submit proposals to design and build the project. The Request for Proposals will be issued in January 2020 with the most qualified and cost-effective design-build team selected in the summer. DEC will manage the design-build contract. After the project is completed, Nassau County will own and operate the new facilities.
The Bay Park Conveyance Project will connect the existing Bay Park Treatment Plant to the existing Cedar Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant’s outfall by constructing two underground tunnels and using an abandoned aqueduct to join with Cedar Creek’s three-mile long ocean outfall that has a one-mile long diffusion pipe at the end. Due in large part to nitrogen in treated wastewater discharges from the Bay Park plant, as well as Long Beach, Cedarhurst and Lawrence treatment plants, the Western Bays are impaired by macro algae blooms and other water quality impacts such as low dissolved oxygen. In addition, peer-reviewed scientific studies have linked excess nitrogen to the damage and ultimate disintegration of coastal marsh islands that serve as a resilient barrier to storm surge and associated waves.
When completed, the conveyance project will allow for the ecological recovery of the Western Bays at a substantially lower cost and shorter construction schedule than other options considered, which would have cost more than $600 million and taken nearly a decade to construct. The Conveyance Project will reduce 19 billion gallons of treated wastewater and more than 95 percent of the nitrogen loading to Reynolds Channel and the Western Bays each year and achieve region-wide resiliency benefits.