Boardwalk Rebuild Begins
In October, 2012, Hurricane Sandy ripped up and carried away large sections of the boardwalk, leaving whole segments scattered along storm-hit streets.
Workers for Skanska, a worldwide project development and construction group, began phase one of the Rockaway Boardwalk Reconstruction Project on Monday, April 21.
The boardwalk rebuild is a joint project by the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Economic Development Corporation and is considered a line of defense against future storms.
“The new Rockaway boardwalk is being constructed to respond to sea level rise and future storms, and is integrated into a multi-layered system of coastal protection,” First Deputy Parks Commissioner Liam Kavanagh said.
The rebuild will be done in phases. Phase 1 is now underway with work being done between Beach 86th Street and Beach 97th Street. Demolition of some of the old pilings will occur and heavy equipment can now be seen along Shore Front Parkway.
According to Parks and Recreation “nearly five miles of the boardwalk, running from Beach 20th Street to Beach 126th Street, will be rebuilt as part of this project. The new boardwalk will be constructed with steel-reinforced concrete and elevated above the 100-year flood plain. A baffle wall will be incorporated into the design and the structure will be bolstered by sand berms planted with native grasses.”
The first phase of the project, which began this week, will, Parks says, include “fence post installation and general site prep work. In the weeks following, selected demolition and removal of the old boardwalk piles begins.”
In May the next step of construction will begin. This will involve driving new steel piles which will form the superstructure of the new boardwalk. Once that is done, concrete sand retaining walls will be installed and concrete caps will be placed on the piles.
Conduits for utilities, including electric and plumbing will be installed and sand will be backfilled in. Access stairs and ramps will also be put in. Benches, railings, lighting, water fountains and foot showers will be installed later.
Over the past several months, Parks previewed various colors and designs for these decorative installations at a series of public meetings and requested communi- ty input.
No beach closures are expected while the boardwalk is being rebuilt. As was done last year, specific access points will be set up where visitors can get through to the beach.
As of now, Phase 1 is expected to be completed by Memorial Day, 2015.
The entire boardwalk rebuild is slated to be finally completed by Memorial Day 2017. Photos by Dan Guarino