‘Safety Concerns’ Close
'Safety Concerns' Close
By Howard Schwach
"Safety concerns," after years of wear and tear have forced the School Construction Authority (SCA) to close the boat ramp at the western end of Beach Channel High School.
According to a spokesperson for the SCA, the popular boat ramp was closed last week without warning because "the parking lot and the ramp itself are caving in and are in deplorable condition."
The spokesperson says that the ramp and the parking lot were closed "to protect individuals from injury and to all the agency to initiate plans for the renovation of the facility."
A number of constituents contacted City Councilman Joe Addabbo to see if they can get the facility reopened, but Addabbo agrees that it is dangerous to allow it to open before repairs are made.
"The closing of the docking slip was the proper course, given its current poor condition," Addabbo says. "I am hopeful that the school construction authority will quickly determine the cost of the renovation and the work will begin soon thereafter to do the necessary repairs."
According to the SCA, the damage to the ramp and parking lot include sink holes, separation of the parking lot and walkway from the bulkhead and a caving in of the walkway adjacent to the ramp.
Many locals, however, disagree with the SCA and Addabbo.
Rockaway resident Joe Poehlman says that he has been using the ramp for fifteen or twenty years.
"It is in no worse shape today than it was ten or twelve years ago, he says. "Why close it now without warning?
"If they would have waited three or four weeks, nobody would have to be put out by the closing," Poehlman added. "Now, people have to drag their boats through weeds to launch them. Somebody is going to get hurt."
Addabbo agrees that it is fortunate that we are at the end of the boating season.
"All of us understand the importance of the ramp to the boating community," he says. "We need to get it back before next boating season."