NEW YORK—Restoration of the beaches damaged by Hurricane Sandy will begin in April on Staten Island
A bid will go out this month for the work on Staten Island’s eastern and southern shores, which were among the hardest hit areas by the storm. Work is expected to start in April. After that, work will move to other coastal areas in the region, including on Long Island.
A plan developed by the Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild the beaches will be given to the city so contractors can be hired quickly and start work, according to CBS New York, citing Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
“Today’s announcement should give homeowners a lot of solace,” said Schumer. “They will have protection and they will have it soon.”
Depending on the area, there will be berms and dunes installed for protection, according to Schumer. Normally, the Army Corps doesn’t work on projects before a plan is created. At Schumer’s urging, the Corps completed a plan for Staten Island within weeks—the plans usually take up to 18 months.
“That is much too long to wait, given how denuded the beaches are, and how worried people are about a second Sandy,” Schumer told the Staten Island Advance.
Beaches on Staten Island, including South Beach, Midland Beach, and Tottenville Beach, lost between 10 and 20 feet of sand in length and four to six feet in height, according to Schumer’s office.
At least 75 percent of the funding for the Staten Island work will come from FEMA, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
“Recovering from Sandy, rebuilding our communities, protecting our citizens and strengthening our natural coastal barriers have to be done intelligently and in a coordinated fashion,” said Cuomo in a statement. “This work also has to be done as quickly as possible, ensuring that we rebuild smarter and stronger.”
After the hurricane, two to three feet of sand on the Rockaway peninsula in Queens was spread two to three blocks inland. In an interview during a journey across the peninsula after the storm, Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Beach) said it was imperative to both replace the sand and create new barriers, such as rock jetties.
“We’ve got to find ways to do more,” he said. Details aren’t released yet for what restoration will entail for the Rockaways.
Similar projects for Coney Island and the Rockaways are scheduled to be put in before summer.