The Wantagh State Parkway Bike Path will soon be stretching closer to the Atlantic Ocean.
New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) officials announced Thursday that the 7.5-mile path that runs along the Wantagh Parkway will be extended 0.7 miles to end up next to the East Bathhouse. It will be constructed through the parking area to the pedestrian underpass, where new storage will be provided for 100 bicycles. The roughly $1 million project is slated to begin this fall and be completed next May.
The announcement of the Wantagh Parkway Bike Path extension occurred at Jones Beach Parking Field 5 Thursday and was attended by officials from the State DOT and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The project was praised by State Sen. Charles Fuschillo, R-Merrick and Assemblyman Dave McDonough, whose districts both encompass the Jones Beach area.
"Many residents from all across Long Island ride, run, and walk on the Wantagh Parkway Bike Path every single day,” said Fuschillo, who added that he hopes the project will soon be extended along Ocean Parkway toward Fire Island. “This project will give them greater access to Jones Beach, which is the crown jewel of the state parks system, and provide a critical link to the planned Ocean Parkway Bike Path. I'm pleased New York State is making this investment to improve the bike path for all who use it."
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"I am pleased that the New York State Department of Transportation and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation have come together to extend the bike path at beautiful Jones Beach, which will have numerous benefits to our residents by increasing mobility and accessibility through Jones Beach Park by bicycle and increasing the health benefits of bicycling,” said Assemblyman McDonough.
The planned extension of the Wantagh State Parkway Bike Path extension is welcome news to cycling enthusiast Michael Vitti of Glen Head, who is president of Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists. Vitti said the project will make it far easier for bicyclists who utilize the Wantagh Parkway path to now be able to pedal directly next to the beach and not have to walk three quarters of a mile through hot pavement to get by the ocean.
“Now instead of taking a 20-minute trudge it will be a five minute bike ride,” said Vitti, who also expressed hope of soon being able to bike along Ocean Parkway to TOBAY Beach in Massapequa. “It will be a significant connection.”