NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, announces that the second section of new construction on the Rockaway Beach boardwalk will open to the public this Friday, July 3, in time for the holiday weekend. Phase 2 of the construction project spans from Beach 97 Street to Beach 107 Street. Combined with the first section of opened boardwalk (Beach 86 Street to Beach 96 Street) New Yorkers and visitors will now be able to enjoy 1 continuous mile of newly constructed boardwalk starting this weekend.
“We’re thrilled to welcome beach goers to the first full mile of a more resilient, and beautiful Rockaway boardwalk, just in time for the unofficial kick off to summer,” said Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. “This beach and boardwalk is not only a recreational amenity, but a big part of the Rockaway identity and economic driver for this community. We’re thankful for all of the community support we have gotten in designing this project and look forward to opening 4.7 miles of continuous boardwalk to beachgoers next summer.”
“Summertime in the Rockaways is a time-honored tradition in New York City and we are pleased to welcome beachgoers to a stronger, more resilient boardwalk this holiday weekend” said Interim Vice President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation Kim Vaccari. “For decades, the boardwalk has served as both an iconic piece of the Rockaways and a catalyst for public and private economic investment. The city’s commitment to comprehensive resiliency improvements across the peninsula will result in a boardwalk that rivals some of the best in the world and a brighter future for this community for generations to come.”
Along with the new section of boardwalk, additional swimming areas in the Phase 2 section will be staffed with lifeguards, opening up more space for beachgoers to enjoy the sun and surf this holiday weekend and throughout the summer. All beach access points in Phase 2 are also complete; access is available at B105, B103, B102, B101, B98 and the respective boardwalk islands at B106 and B97.
As New York City’s largest beach, Rockaway attracts millions of visitors each year. Recently, the destination has become well known for its varied concessions along the boardwalk, which sell food and drinks from around the world, including Peruvian, Bolivian, Caribbean and Central Asian fare. Beginning this weekend, Rockaway will also welcome Lola Starr Souvenier Shop, selling Rockaway themed merchandise and renting beach equipment at Beach 32 Street and Beach 60 Street. NYC Parks will also host community events, free Shape Up NYC fitness classes and nature programming in Rockaway all summer long.
As a result of the de Blasio administration’s push, the Rockaway Boardwalk will be continuously complete by Memorial Day 2016, with intact sections of the old boardwalk and new sections linked together. The boardwalk will be entirely completed as new construction by Memorial Day 2017.
The new boardwalk, which started construction in April 2014, will set a global standard for resilient shoreline design, while providing the Rockaway community with a beautiful, functional beachfront. The project is being integrated into a multi-layered system of coastal protection that will resist future weather events and account for the long-term effects of climate change. It is constructed with a steel-reinforced concrete deck, fixed to steel pipe support piles that elevate it above the 100-year flood plain. Multiple layers of protection are also being integrated into the boardwalk design, including approximately six miles of planted dunes. A concrete retaining wall is being constructed underneath the boardwalk to keep the beach’s sand in place and prevent it from entering the community. Much of the new boardwalk’s appearance – including its sand-colored decking, brightly colored ramps and designated bike lane – was decided during a series of collaborative design sessions with Rockaway residents.