2009-10-16 / Top Stories

Bay Wall Restoration On Hold

By Nicholas Briano

An $8 million restoration project of the bay wall extending from Beach 125 to Beach 130 Street along Beach Channel Drive was put on hold last week by the EDC. An $8 million restoration project of the bay wall extending from Beach 125 to Beach 130 Street along Beach Channel Drive was put on hold last week by the EDC. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has abandoned a plan to reconstruct a section of bay wall in Belle Harbor, which was meant to provide a new outlet of waterfront access to the area and to improve the infrastructure along Beach Channel Drive. The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance would design the project.

The bay wall area neighbors the Belle Harbor Yacht Club (BHYC) and extends from Beach 125 to Beach 130 Street. In July, officials from the Belle Harbor Yacht Club anticipated that the design process would begin by the year's end, with construction commencing in 2010. The Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (MWA) will work with EDC if the project starts up again. MWA is a non-profit group that aims to transform the waters of New York and New Jersey harbor into clean and accessible places to learn, work and play, with inviting parks, dependable jobs and reliable, eco-friendly transportation The $8 million in funding allocated for the project will be placed on hold.

Belle Harbor Yacht Club representative, John McCann is optimistic the project will eventually be completed, but did say that right now the project has been put on hold.

McCann and Belle Harbor Yacht Club members are especially interested in the project because, historically, they are entitled to water usage rights in front of the club, despite the fact that Beach Channel Drive runs between the bay wall and the club's building.

MWA has designed similar projects near waterfront areas throughout the city and portions of New Jersey and was expected, at the least, to beautify a deteriorated portion of bay wall and, hopefully, to provide access to the bay for the community and the yacht club's members.

Community meetings and opportunities for input will follow if preliminary designs are presented and a timeline is reached, but all that is unknown at the moment.

Sources close to the project say that EDC is calling off the project due to issues relating to a New York City Department of Transportation owned bulkhead that runs adjacent to the project and supports the Beach Channel Drive roadway. Once the issues connected with the bulkhead are resolved EDC will revisit the project. "EDC is waiting for DOT's recommendation for the project," McCann said. "So in the meantime we are waiting."

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