Army Corps of Engineers hires contractor to repair Coney Island beach
Federal government picking up entire $25 million tab
Coney Island Beach will undergo critical repairs and emergency restoration to address Hurricane Sandy-related damage, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and a group of lawmakers announced on Tuesday.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a contract to H&L Contracting LLC for an ambitious project involving the construction of a series of T-groin rock jetties at Coney Island aimed at protecting the peninsula and preventing further erosion that has plagued the shoreline since 1992, and that was made significantly worse during Superstorm Sandy, officials said.
The project also calls for beach replenishment to take place along the Brooklyn shoreline from West 37th Street to Norton Point.
The $25 million repair and restoration project will be fully funded by the federal government.
A start date was not announced, but the elected officials said the work is expected to begin soon.
The announcement was made by Schumer, Gillibrand, U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Hakeem Jeffries, Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny and Councilmember Mark Treyger.
Shoreline structures such as groins and jetties are built to protect buildings on the beach that is losing sand, according to beachpedia.com. The website also states that the shoreline structures “are built to alter the effects of ocean waves, currents and sand movement.”
“Superstorm Sandy damaged Brooklyn’s shoreline communities, like Sea Gate and Coney Island, and I worked hard to ensure projects, like this one, were funded using Sandy relief funds,” Schumer said.
Schumer, who noted that erosion at Coney Island is a problem that needed to be addressed even before Sandy, credited Nadler with pushing for the federal government to pay for the project so that no local funds are used. “My friend, Congressman Jerry Nadler, has pushed for this for years and literally moved heaven and earth to make this project a reality, and for this he deserves our special thanks today. I am relieved a contract has finally been awarded so that coastline communities like Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach and Sea Gate can be restored and better fortified to withstand the next storm as soon as possible,” the senator said.
“Especially since Coney Island is still recovering from Superstorm Sandy, this beach erosion and replenishment project is truly critical to protect the area’s residents from future storm damage and erosion, and to safeguard our famous beaches. After more than 20 years of working with the Army Corps, the state, the city and the Sea Gate Association to make this project a reality, I’m thrilled that we are able to announce this much-needed Army Corps of Engineers contract for the Coney Island t-groins project,” Nadler said.
Due to redistricting, Nadler no longer represents Coney Island. But he worked with Jeffries, who currently represents the area, on securing the necessary federal funds.
Elected officials expressed relief that the work will soon begin.
“I am pleased the Army Corps of Engineers has awarded this contract that will allow for critical work to be completed to protect the shoreline, prevent further erosion and make repairs to vital infrastructure,” Gillibrand said.
“As both an elected official and a member of the Sea Gate community I saw first hand the damage and devastation that my neighbors and even my own family were forced to deal with in the aftermath of Sandy,” Brook-Krasny said. “I am optimistic that this is a great stride in protecting the entire peninsula from potential impact caused by future natural disasters. I am confident that we will come back better and stronger than before.”
In the fall of 2013, Sandy emergency funds were used to place nearly 600,000 cubic yards of sand at Coney Island from Corbin Place to West 37th Street to restore the beach.
The beaches and dunes were last nourished in 1995.
The federal funding is being put toward construction of four stand-alone T-groin structures, one rock spur off the existing West 37th Street groin, additional stone armoring of the existing Norton Point dike, removal of beach-fill that accumulated in front of the Gravesend Bay bulkheads and dredging sand from the nearby navigation channel in Rockaway Inlet. The beach fill will be placed along approximately 2,000 linear feet of the Atlantic Ocean shoreline within the new T-groin field.
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