Hempstead Street Drainage To Be Improved by Summer Season

Runoff trickles onto Havens Beach at the north end of a swale that connects to Hempstead Street drainage. Peter Boody photo

Ponding that occurs on Hempstead Street in heavy rains is the target of a drainage improvement project that the Village of Sag Harbor has been developing ever since a storm left the street flooded soon after a previous drainage project was completed in 2013. Plans for the work were due to be submitted to the DEC for approval next week, according to Dee Yardley, superintendent of municipal works.

The project calls for putting in a larger outfall pipe at the north end of the 900-foot Havens Beach drainage swale, which runs from just north of Hempstead Street to the beach and was cleared out and improved in the 2013 drainage project; replacing the heavy cover with a lighter one for the Abtech Smart Sponge drainage chamber that was installed at the north end of the swale in 2013 for easier maintenance access; reconfiguring and regrading the outfall area near the beach to improve flow; and removing phragmites that have invaded the drainage swale.

The village is in the process of securing state and county grants for at least part of the work, which Mr. Yardley estimated will cost about $125,000.

The village’s Havens Beach property sits at the bottom of a topographical bowl, making drainage a challenge as the frequency of heavy rainstorms appears to be on the rise. “You’ve got 133 acres draining to the Hempstead-Liberty Street outfall zone,” said Mr. Yardley, explaining why the drainage swale backs up when very heavy rains occur, like the 2.5 inches that fell on Saturday, January 5.

The Sag Harbor Village Board hired P.W. Gross Consulting, Inc. of Bohemia in November to prepare plans, which is known as the Havens Beach Drainage Facility Improvements and Maintenance Project. Mr. Yardley said he expected to finalize the funding and the DEC permit for the project by spring. The work itself will take a matter of days, he said.