2012-03-02 / Letters

Thank You Jill

The following letter was sent to Jill Weber, Parks Department Administrator of the Rockaways

Thank you for addressing our last Community Board (14) meeting here in Rockaway! In that meeting you said there was emergency money allotted to repair damage to the Rockaway Beach boardwalk caused by Tropical Storm Irene. The amount of money, you said, was $3.5 million.

You spoke about repairs to the deck of the boardwalk and what is commonly called “fascia boards.” These so called “fascia boards” which were damaged so easily, were originally designed and constructed as part of a bulkhead to prevent storm surge from reaching our neighborhoods.

The “fascia boards” originally extended from the deck of the boardwalk down 10 feet into the sand to the top of a line of piles driven 20 feet below the sand. The original “fascia boards” were nut and bolted with 1-inch bolts at the top and bottom and held back storm surge for almost 80 years.

In the past several years the majority of the bulkhead fascia boards were replaced along the Shore Front Parkway section of the boardwalk. The reconstruction totally compromised the original purpose of storm surge prevention.

The new “decorative fascia boards” do nothing more than prevent people from walking under the boardwalk and sand from blowing onto the Parkway. These so called new “fascia boards” were installed the same way you would hang bath towels on a clothes line.

I’m not an engineer but sand cannot be expected to hold boards in place that are only 1 foot in the sand that is only 25 feet away, in some locations, to the high water mark on a calm day.

It is our hope that better attention to detail is considered as to the original design and to the true purpose of the so called “fascia boards,“ and they are restored to storm surge prevention as originally designed.

During the meeting there was no mention of all the storm damage to the total infrastructure of all the beach side staircases from Beach 88 to Beach 108 Street and to all the beach side ramps from Beach 109 Street to Beach 126 Street. Can you please make sure the items are covered by the funding received.

Also, you mentioned that the sand piled up on the Beach 120s would be used to fill in the beaches. I’m not really sure how this would work when there is only enough sand in the Beach 120s to fill in one or two beaches at best. The last replenishment in 2010 by the Army Corps placed 124,000 cubic yards of sand between Beach 87 and Beach 103.

The sand piled up in the Beach 120s is not much more than 8000 cubic yards of sand. Please clarify !

At our meeting in November with Friends of Rockaway Beach and the NYC Department of Parks, I gave you and Commissioner Lewandowski over 200 printed photos and also gave you photo files on a USB flash memory stick of all items talked about in this email. If you need the photos again please feel free to ask!


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