2012-12-07 / Editorial/Opinion

We Need A Solution….NOW!

The massive destruction Superstorm Sandy wrought on Rockaway has caused officials to begin to consider solutions that will ameliorate the problem next time. We cannot let this happen again. Marine engineers have proposed the construction of an 80-foot rock barrier rising from the Atlantic Ocean for five miles from Breezy Point to Sandy Hook in New Jersey, a barrier that would be topped with a new highway. Or, perhaps two 640-foot gates that would be used to close off the lower bay at the Verrazano Bridge and flood Jamaica Bay, saving lower Manhattan while sacrificing Queens and JFK Airport. The solution popular with most residents, is to build rock jetties, as many as 50 of them, along the Rockaway shoreline. Local experts point out that the jetty at Beach 86 Street saved the boardwalk in that area and maybe homes and apartment buildings on Shore Front Parkway. This is a good start, however, we must seek out and consider all possible creative solutions that will protect the Rockaway peninsula as well as New York City and the Harbor. The boardwalk will have to be rebuilt from one end to the other, and the Mayor contends that any future boardwalks must be made of concrete. Some locals say that the boardwalk could be raised a few feet to ten or twelve feet and fronted with concrete slabs footed into the sand so that sea water could be blocked not by wood or sand, but by a solid wall of concrete. It is clear that Rockaway cannot wait another ten years for a study to be completed and work to begin. Sandy might well have been the “100 year storm,” but there is no guarantee that another 100 year storm won’t strike again long before it’s due.

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