City Updates Rockaway on Resiliency

By Forum Staff

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the New York District is in the process of receiving final approval for the East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay General Revaluation Report, City and federal authorities announced Tuesday.

Pending final approval, construction on the first elements of the project, focusing on groins that will prevent beach erosion, is expected to begin in 2020, according to officials.

The full plan for Rockaway Beach calls for a reinforced seawall/dune that will stretch from Beach 9th Street to Beach 149th Street, an increased beach berm width with 1.6 million cubic yards of sand for initial placement, the extension of five groins already in place and the construction of 13 new groins—all designed to help reduce the risk from future coastal storms and provide additional resiliency for the residents of this community. Subsequently, the USACE plans to advance additional flood-prevention projects, including High Frequency Flooding Risk Reduction Features, on the Bay Side of the peninsula.

In August 2019, Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, USACE commanding general, signed the Chief’s Report for the Atlantic Coast of New York East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Superstorm Sandy Reformulation Study. The report transmitted the USACE’s recommendation to the assistant secretary for the Army for Civil Works for review and final approval.

The Atlantic Coast of New York East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Study is a partnership between the Army Corps and the non-federal sponsor, State Department of Environmental Conservation and in cooperation with the City.

The $600 million project is authorized for construction using the Sandy funding at 100-percent full federal cost. Pending approval by the assistant secretary for the Army for Civil Works, construction is scheduled to begin in 2020.

Once the report has been approved, USACE will move forward with the first contract related to the project. That contract is expected to consist of a comprehensive erosion control package that will include the construction of the additional stone groins and refurbishments to the existing groins, among other features.

“For years, residents in the Rockaways have called for these measures to protect against future storms,” Mayor Bill de Blasio acknowledged on Tuesday. “We are closing in on the final steps needed to make them a reality, and give these communities the safety and the peace of mind they deserve.”


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