American Venice was created by real estate developers Victor Pisani and Isaac Meister in 1926. Unique in concept and layout, the American Venice project was designed to emulate the grand City of Canals in Venice, Italy, complete with gondolas and bridges linking the neighborhoods. Despite the modernization of homes in the area, the original East and West bridges remain today.
American Venice Bridge Restoration
The American Venice Bridges currently possess a load limit of 12.5 tons, which restricts the passage of large construction equipment to the community. Over time, the passage of equipment exceeding the load limit will damage the structure of the bridges. Through grants obtained from the New York State Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery Program, the Town of Babylon will reconstruct and restore the American Venice Bridges. The bridge reconstruction project would increase the load capacity of the bridges so that during future storms, residents will be able to evacuate and/or receive emergency services more easily.
Frequently Asked Questions
Has there been any previous work conducted on the bridges?
-Yes, the bridges were reinforced during the 1970s to accomodate the construction of the Southwest Sewer District. Maintainence work was also performed in the mid 1980s.
Has this project received approval?
-Yes, the project was included within the Copiague/Amityville community reconstruction plan prepared by a committee of residents and civic leaders. The project was identified by this committee as a "resiliency project" to be funded through New York Rising, a state-sanctioned community recovery program. Being that the bridges are the only means of access to this community, they are considered vital to the community's continued existence.
When will the work be started?
-Work is already underway with survey crews collecting data to be used by LKB Engineering to design the project. It is anticipated that the design phase will be completed in 2016, with construction beginning in 2017.
Will the bridge walkways remain?
-Yes, a sidewalk will be incorporated into the bridges' design.
Will access be disrupted during construction?
-Access to the community will remain throughout the entire project. The engineer has determined during design that access to the community will be maintained by erecting a temporary bridge and signal system. This system will be constructed prior to demolition of the current bridge.
Will the bridge dimensions remain the same?
-The proposed bridge will be approximately 35 feet wide, compared to the current width of 28.5 feet. The height and length of the bridges will remain the same.
April 2017: Project remains on schedule. Final design plans received. All permits (Army Corp. still pending) anticipated by end of May 2017. Procurement process for construction contractor to be initiated April 2017; if procurement proceeds as scheduled, a construction contractor would be selected by end of May 2017. Anticipated initiation of construction (mid 2017) remains unchanged from September 2016 update. The Governor's Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) has advised the Town of Babylon that despite being one of the largest NY Rising-funded projects, this project is currently closer to implementation than virtually all other NY Rising projects.
Please note that despite our careful planning and attention to detail, once construction is initiated, the community will be subject to everyday inconveniences for an extended period of time. Thank you in advance for your continued patience and cooperation.