Here Comes The Sand!
On Thursday, August 15, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White and New York District Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Col. Paul E. Owen announced both the beginning of sand pumping on Rockaway Beach and the award of a $26.4 million contract for the placement of even more sand to aid post-Sandy restoration efforts. The total amount of sand to be added to Rockaway Beach under these contracts will be about 3.5 million cubic yards with work expected for completion by early 2014.
The announcement was made at the Beach 97 Street boardwalk island. Also in attendance were State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., State Assembly Member Phillip Goldfeder, City Council Members Eric Ulrich and Donovan Richards, NY State Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Director Venetia Lannon, NYC Department of Design & Construction Commissioner David J. Burney, NYC Director of Resiliency Dan Zarrilli, and Senior Vice President of NYC Economic Development Corporation Greg Clancy.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is placing about 3.5 million cubic yards of sand along Rockaway Beach from Beach 19th to Beach 149th Streets to replace sand lost during Hurricane Sandy. This work will restore the beach to its design profile—making it better than it was before Sandy’s impact. The work is being done through two contracts totaling $36.4 million.
The first of the two sand placement contracts for Rockaway was awarded earlier this summer and sand placement work on that contract is ongoing. It was a $10 million contract, also awarded to Weeks Marine. That contract was for the placement of roughly up to 600,000 cubic yards of sand being dredged from East Rockaway Inlet. Sand is being placed from Beach 89th to Beach 149th as part of the first contract.
The second, larger contract will include the placement of additional sand in areas where sand was placed through the first contract. When both contracts are complete, the beach will have been restored to its original design from when the Corps first constructed the beach in the 1970s in partnership with New York state and New York City. The originally constructed beach included at least a 100 foot wide beach berm that was 10 feet above sea level.
The beach restoration work at Rockaway is being done as part of near-term coastal restoration efforts taking place at previously constructed coastal storm risk reduction projects throughout the region. While the beach at Rockaway provides recreational benefits, it is primarily designed to act as a buffer to help reduce the impacts from coastal storms.
The beach restoration work at Rockaway is being carried out to provide additional coastal storm risk reduction for the community using the Corps of Engineers statutory authorities to repair the federally constructed project at Rockaway that was constructed in the 1970s in partnership with the State of New York and City of New York. The Corps is working closely with its partners in the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and NYC Parks as it carries out these beach restoration efforts at Rockaway Beach.
While restoration work is going on, there will be rolling closures of approximately 1,000-foot wide sections of the beach where construction work is active, but the Corps of Engineers will make efforts to limit the impacts of the ongoing work on recreation without compromising public safety. Closures will be closely coordinated with NYC Parks.
The coastal restoration work at Rockaway Beach is part of a larger U.S. Army Corps of Engineers effort throughout the northeastern United States to place nearly 27 million cubic yards of sand to restore coastal storm risk reduction projects impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Nearly eight million cubic yards of that will be placed at coastal storm risk reduction projects in the State of New York, including at Coney Island and at project sites along the south shore of Long Island.
“Recommend to your children virtue; that alone can make them happy, not gold.”
Ludwig van Beethoven
(1770 - 1827)