The New York Times profiles the epic cleanup, still ongoing, required to restore Rockaway Beach after Hurricane Sandy. The City Parks Commissioner, Veronica M. White, took on the challenge only two months after she was appointed the job — “I’ve braved the beach more in a year than I did in my whole life, 54 years, before then,” she told the Times. Just this month a dredge ship, followed by steamboats, brought giants pipes to the beach. These pipes were assembled into a three-mile straw, then “sand and water were sucked from a silted-up channel and blown onto the beaches.” The beach lost a total of 1.5 million cubic yards of sand after Sandy; the Parks Department will add 3.5 million cubic yards of sand to the tune of $37,000,000 by Memorial Day. The city is also constructing an artificial dune, a 4.7 mile long stretch of sand bags from Beach 149th Street to Beach 55th Street. And they expect to fully rebuild the boardwalk by Memorial Day.
There are still triumphs post-Sandy for the Rockaways: the Beach 30th Street playground is open, the concession stands returned, and landscaped plazas popped up. Concrete flecked with blue glass replaced some of the old boardwalk. As a resident said, “It’s normal. It’s beautiful. Because it’s normal.”
With Ships, Silt and a Giant Straw, a Beach in the Rockaways Is Reborn [NY Times]
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