Chamber: Tribute Park On Schedule
Work has finally begun on Rockaway’s "Tribute Park" located at Beach 116 Street and Beach Channel Drive abutting Jamaica Bay.
Construction of the new waterfront revetment, or shoreline reconstruction, is underway and should be completed by the end of April. This reconstruction is being undertaken to protect the park and the environment and is being done by VPI Marine Services, Inc. based in Rockaway. The owner of VPI Marine Services has worked hand in the hand with the Chamber and contributed professional services above and beyond the contract.
The revetment project consists of the removal of the old concrete dumped construction debris from below the high water line and the grading of the slope from the water upwards to the New York State DEC permit specifications. A filter fabric liner is placed on grade with a bed of small natural stone placed on top of the fabric liner.
Large natural stones, up to 1,000 pounds each, are placed on top of the small natural stones. These large stones will also become a natural border for the park. Actually below the beach surface, a trench of large stones is also installed.
The rip/rap stone wall revetment will stabilize the park shoreline and protect the upland area from erosion. The sloping rock revetment will soften the wave action to prevent "scouring" of the beach area and the removal of the existing concrete debris will contribute to a healthier and safer water environment. The present beach habitat will be maintained for approximately 100 feet on the south end nearest Beach Channel Drive. Several inches of new and strained topsoil will be spread across the upland area of the park prior to the actual park design and construction.
As recently reported in a front-page story in The Wave, a challenge arose concerning the waterfront revetment with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
This issue was resolved with a comprise in a timely manner through the able assistance of Mr. Dan Mundy, the environmental consultant on this project, who made himself available to meet with the DEC on an emergency basis and who expeditiously resubmitted plans for approval. The DEC reissued the permit immediately and work was allowed to continue without more than a day or two delay.
Duane Reade, during its own construction, brought the electricity and water to the park site, which will facilitate lighting and a sprinkler system for the park property and construction on a solid 6-foot high wall on the eastern border will commence in a few weeks.
The Chamber of Commerce is still selling tribute bricks which will serve as the pathways throughout the park. These brick order forms are available throughout the community and this program will continue only until June 1, 2003.
The progress of Tribute Park can also be followed on-line by the USDA Forest Service Living Memorials Project. Those interested in using the Internet to follow the project may do so at www.livingmemorialsproject.net.