An agreement between New York City and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to use dredged sand to re-nourish and restore Rockaway beach between Beach 92nd Street and Beach 103rd Street was announced in March. Depending on the severity of spring storms and the dredging schedule, the project should allow for the reopening of this stretch of beach this coming summer.
“I cannot be prouder of the team effort to award this vital maintenance dredging contract with our partner, the City of New York,” said Colonel Thomas Asbery, commander, Corps, New York District. “The safety of the navigation channels and shoreline resiliency is Corps’ top priority in our world class harbor estuary of New York and New Jersey. We have seized the opportunity to beneficially reuse dredge material to provide coastal storm risk reduction measures along the heavily eroded portion of the Rockaway shorefront. This is a tremendous benefit for the community and for the City of New York.”
The Corps New York District has awarded a contract for $10.7 million to Weeks Marine to perform needed maintenance dredging of the East Rockaway Inlet Federal Navigation Channel. The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation is contributing $2.7 million to pump the sand two and a half miles farther west in order to avoid potential environmental impacts. Weeks Marine is expected to remove approximately, 300,000 cubic yards of sand from the inlet and place it between Beach 92nd and Beach 103rd Streets to replace lost sand due to heavy erosion after last March’s back-to-back nor’easters. Maintenance dredging of East Rockaway Inlet is expected to begin in spring 2019.
In 2013, the Corps placed 3.5 million cubic yards of sand on the beaches following Superstorm Sandy to help strengthen the resiliency of its coastal storm risk reduction project, which was originally built in the 1970s.
In addition, the Corps New York District is in the process of receiving final approval from Corps headquarters for the East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet & Jamaica Bay General Revaluation Report, with the goal of beginning the first elements of construction in late 2019. The plan calls for a reinforced dune (composite seawall) with a height of 17 feet. This structure will stretch from Beach 9th Street to Beach 149th Street.
The plan also calls for increased beach berm 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.
“We’re grateful to the Army Corps for enabling us to use the sand they will be dredging to replenish Rockaway. The city has always been exploring a way to reopen this section, and we’re very happy that the timing, cost and permitting processes aligned to enable this. We recognize that reopening is important for the community, and adds some additional protection for this coastal community while we await the Army Corps’ long-term reformulation project,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver.