Bay Walk Park Proposal & Background
The Port Washington North Bay Walk Park Project consists of 1.7 acres of waterfront property; 1.42 acres owned by the Village of Port Washington North, and .28 acres owned by the Town of North Hempstead. The project area is bordered by Manhasset Bay and Sheets Creek to the west, and a 4 lane county road, Shore Road, to the east. Heading north, it begins at Dayton Park and ends at the Gulfway Marina.
These waterfront properties were once owned by private individuals and companies for commercial use, including a marina, an oil transfer station, and a marine hardware store. Many of these businesses failed to properly maintain their property and its shoreline. Much of the land was neglected. Over the past 4 years, Port Washington North has been aggressively acquiring property worth an estimated $2,500,000 along its waterfront to preserve and restore its shoreline and its natural beauty and convert it into usable open space and recreational use for the entire community of Port Washington. To date, all the land in the project area is now publicly owned.
Goals for Park
The Village’s goal and that of the Town of North Hempstead is to turn this area into an active waterfront park, encouraging walking, jogging, bicycling, rollerblading, nature observation and education, fishing, boating, kayaking, and creating a destination point for a proposed Town of North Hempstead Blueway trail.
The project area has 2 piers. The southern pier is owned by the Town of North Hempstead and is in very poor condition. The northern pier is owned by the Village of Port Washington North and is structurally sound but in need of renovation. The northern pier will be redesigned to be used for fishing, launching and receiving boats, and observing the scenic Manhasset Bay.
We expect the use of this park to be significant once it is built. This park will attract over 35,000 residents in the Port Washington community, as well as neighboring Villages within the Town of North Hempstead who wish to view the unique vista of this maritime north shore community. We also expect the park to attract the patrons of the shopping center and restaurants across the street from the park. Stop & Shop has agreed to allow cars to park in their lot for those wishing to use the park. Pedestrian traffic will also come from the 250 senior homes being built in the vicinity of the park. The Mill Pond Acres will be completed within a year and expects to house roughly 400 seniors who will be within walking distance from the park.
The only other park in the area is the Town-owned Manorhaven Park, located off Manorhaven Blvd. in Manorhaven.
The Bay Walk Park focuses on two important areas; creating an active waterfront park with access for individuals, families, children, the handicapped, and the elderly, and protecting and preserving and protecting its shoreline.
Cost & Construction
The total cost of the project is roughly $2,800,000. It has been broken down into 2 phases.
Phase 1 is the construction of the walkway, restoration of the northern pier, and shoreline stabilization in certain areas. It also includes landscaping the area with irrigation, and lighting. The highlight of Phase 1 is the meandering 10′ wide walkway that is pushed as far away from Shore Road, and as close to the water, as possible. The walkway will include a “nautical history tour” of Manhasset Bay using artistic inlays, sculptures, and signage to depict the waterfront’s rich history.
Phase 2 involves possibly replacing the southern pier, erosion control, installation of a kayak launch, and installing park amenities to create an active waterfront park on the undeveloped old Lewis Oil parcel across from Stop & Shop. Aspects such as building the walkway and stabilizing areas that border it goes hand in hand. Lighting, for aesthetics and safety concerns, must be addressed and coordinated as well.
Once completed, we believe the Bay Walk Park will create a dynamic synergy with the residents and the businesses that lie within our community Given the proximity of the project to County-owned road, Shore Road, we would hope that the County would provide some of the vital funding this project needs to move forward as a neighboring municipality and valuable stakeholder.