Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine stood with the family members of 8-year-old Emily O'Connor to vow that the center median garden at the intersection of Express Drive North and Ronkonkoma Avenue would be restored after contractors removed it during construction renovations in the area.
The landscaped median was adopted by O'Connor's family in Emily's honor, to raise awareness of San Filippo Syndrome, a genetic, ultimately fatal metabolic condition that prevents the breakdown of sugar molecules. Emily was diagnosed with the syndrome when she was 5 1/2 years old.
But contractors working on the overpass and surrounding area bulldozed the garden as part of its renovation process, as first reported by News 12 Long Island. The O'Connor family contacted Supervisor Romaine, who met with them near the demolished location on Monday.
“Emily’s family contacted my office seeking help in getting the median restored back to the beautiful garden that they and their friends had created,” Supervisor Romaine stated in a release. “The median is on Town property and we were not advised that it would be removed. I have received assurances from the Governor’s office that the contractor will make good on his promise to make it right again. We will monitor the situation closely and make sure something like this never happens again.”
In the meantime, the contracting company has set up a makeshift garden as a sign of good faith. Patch will update the community when the garden is fully restored to its original state.