The Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway is undergoing its final phase of construction, extending the shared-use path by 10 miles, the New York Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.
The last stretch of the Greenway will lengthen the asphalt path on the north side of the parkway from Tobay Beach in Oyster Bay to Captree State Park in Babylon.
The $16.2 million project will improve the path’s overall safety for cyclists, runners and pedestrians, while also promoting tourism to Long Island’s beaches and parks.
The DOT will add hundreds of new plants native to the Island’s shores, including beach grass, bayberry plants and beach plums. Shaded rest areas will be located every three miles along the extension with information panels detailing the history of Long Island’s beaches and wildlife.
During the project’s design phase, consideration was taken to protect the endangered piping plover and minimize the impact to existing vegetation. Nesting boxes will be installed off the path as a safe space for growing wildlife.
The plan also includes additional parking areas for bicycles at Gilgo Beach, Cedar Beach Marina and Captree State Park.
The project is scheduled to be completed in 2021 ahead of the summer beach season.
Erik Kulleseid, commissioner of the state’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, says the shared-use path has been successful in attracting people to visit the area’s state parks and beaches.
Earlier this year, construction of a 4.5-mile shared-use path in Jones Beach was completed, which connects to the Ocean Parkway Greenway.