LICA Member Making LIE Rest Stop a Reality

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Governor Andrew Cuomo with LICA board member
Peter Scalamandre and Joseph Scalamandre.

Last Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo held a press conference at Long Island Association (LIA) headquarters to announce details and benefits of the new LIE rest stop (aka the LIE Welcome Center), which sits between westbound LIE Exits 51 & 52. But in a room full of top executives and elected officials, the most important man in the room was arguably LICA board member Peter Scalamandre. It is Peter’s firm, Peter Scalamandre & Sons, that is charged with the momentous task of completing this ambitious project by October of this year. Having only broken ground in May (literally, with clearing of trees and excavating nearly 9 acres of land), this $20,220,777 best-value project will involve all aspects of construction expertise from excavation and foundation, to final finishes on the 15,000 square foot “flagship” Welcome Center building. This full service rest area will offer numerous amenities including a professionally staffed visitor’s information desk, New York State and Suffolk County Police offices, a Taste NY food concession featuring foods from the NY region, and 24 hour access to a workstation room, restrooms and vending machines. In addition to the 135 parking spots (no tractor trailers or buses allowed), the area will also host an electric car charging station. 

The Governor acknowledged many of the key players, especially Andrew Raia (R,C,I-East Northport) whom he praised highly for his efforts to advance this project by helping reduce community tension and opposition. Assemblymen Chad Lupinacci (R,C,I-South Huntington) and Town of Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone were also in attendance. Cuomo also used this opportunity to promote and acknowledge other allies who are working hard to bring his LIRR Double Track and Third Track projects to fruition. They included MTA Chairman & CEO Thomas Prendergast, NYSDOT Commissioner Matthew Driscoll and NYSDOT Executive Deputy Commissioner and Chief Engineer Phillip Eng. LIA President and CEO Kevin Law, a strong supporter of the Governor’s vision for Long Island, gave the opening remarks and was praised by Cuomo for his strong leadership and hard work. The hand-picked audience included LICA staff and Executive Director Marc Herbst, as well as LICA board members: Patrick Ahern of Edward Ehrbar, Inc., Billy Haugland Jr. of Grace Industries and of course Peter Scalamandre, who was joined by his dad, Joseph.

With such a tight schedule and intricate design demands, there is no time to rest when building this rest stop. Scalamandre estimates they’ve already moved more than 18,000 tons of soil and they’re just getting started. For any regular LIE commuter, you literally see the progress day by day. On the morning drive you see thousands of tons of soil amassed in strategic piles. By the time you drive home, the soil’s been graded and they’re starting to set forms. It will be a project watched by thousands every step of the way and we’re proud to know that a rest area that will welcome thousands to Long Island will be one of LICA’s own!  Be sure to check future issues of LICA’s Latest for updates on this project’s rapid progress. Click here for more photos from the press conference. 

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Patrick Ahern, Peter Scalamandre, Tom Prendergast, Billy Haugland Jr., Matt Driscoll, and Mitch Pally.

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