Sand Replenishment Begins
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer stopped by Rockaway last weekend to announce the sand is coming. In the first phase of a beach replenishment project, work to pump 600,000 cubic yards of sand started this week under a $10 million contract awarded by the Army Corps of Engineers.
According to Schumer, who visited Rockaway on August 4th, the dredge and pumping equipment arrived in the area and sand is starting to be replenished from Beach 89th to Beach 149th Streets. This is the first phase of the Rockaway Beach reconstruction project, which is expected to take eight weeks to complete. A second contract will be awarded later this summer that will place more than three million cubic yards of sand along Beach 19th to Beach 149th Streets.
“Soon Rockaway’s beaches will be well on their way to being rebuilt and protected against future storms,” said Schumer. “Unfortunately, Sandy ravaged Rockaway’s beaches, which lost tremendous amounts of sand. This project, and the contract to be awarded later this summer, will fortify the beaches and make them less vulnerable to future storms and flooding. It will not just build back to pre- Sandy levels, but all the way back to the mid-90s. I fought hard to make sure replenishment projects like the Rockaway Beach Protection Project were fully funded by the Sandy Relief Bill and it is gratifying to see this work about to begin.”
The entire Rockaway Beach project will include the length of Beach 19th to Beach 149th Street. The first phase, from Beach 89th Street to Beach 149th Street, targets the most vulnerable areas. The second phase will include all of Beach 19th to Beach 149th Streets. Schumer announced in March that the project would be covered by the federal government through the Sandy Relief Bill. He announced in June that the contract had been awarded.
There will be a total of 3.7 million cubic yards of sand placed on the beach when the project is complete, which Schumer said is enough to fill almost four Empire State Buildings. The addition of the sand will bring the beach back to mid-1990 levels.
“The beaches in Rockaway are crucial for the safety and long-term recovery of our community and economy, especially after the severe damage caused by Superstorm Sandy,” said Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder. “For months, we have rallied, screamed, and petitioned to demand more sand for our beaches and finally, with the help of Senator Schumer, Friends of Rockaway Beach, and local residents, our voices were finally heard and we can ensure the future and safety of our community.”