Above, The Glorified Tomato captured the last of the wooden boardwalk being demolished along Rockaway Beach. Badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy, the city is in the process of slowly rebuilding it — a project plagued with setbacks, delays and controversial designs. The city, however, just received $480 million from FEMA to help along the process. The entire rebuilding should (hopefully!) wrap in 2017, with portions of the boardwalk open by next year.
Last week, FEMA approved $480 million in funding to build out the Rockaway boardwalk, severely damaged since Hurricane Sandy. Since rebuilding efforts kicked off, this project has been plagued with setbacks, delays and controversial designs. But DNAinfo reports that this money — a huge boost from the initial budget of $270 million — “is provided through a pilot program that is giving grants for one project as opposed to the usual process of incremental funding and incremental applications to FEMA.” DNAinfo also broke down how much money is going toward what — $199 million for sand barriers and boardwalk elevation, $263 million for 1 million new square feet of boardwalk, park benches, light poles, stairs and ramps. $18 million will be for administrative costs.
The entire rebuilding process is slated to wrap in 2017, although there will be portions of the boardwalk open by next year.
This week, the Parks Department will begin rebuilding the Rockaway boardwalk from Beach 86th to Beach 97th Streets — as everybody knows, Hurricane Sandy badly ripped up the boardwalk back in 2012. And over the summer, Parks hopes to take on another damaged stretch from Beach 97th Street to Beach 106th Street. According to the Daily News, “Crews will fence off the area and start demolishing some of the concrete piles as early as Monday, and the first section could be completed by Memorial Day 2015.” Work begins with pile driving, which will last two months, followed by the placement of the concrete boardwalk. Some concrete will show a wavy pattern; there’s another design with blue stones placed throughout. During construction all access points to the beach will remain open.
The city delayed this $20,000,000 project time and time again. Although the initial hope was to finish the entire reconstruction by 2016, it likely won’t happen until 2017.
The Parks Department is reusing wood from the Sandy-battered Rockaway boardwalk to repair a gap in the boardwalk between Beach 35th Street and Beach 39th Street. NY Daily News reports that when work wraps up, visitors will be able to walk along three miles of the boardwalk, from Beach 9th to Beach 60th Street, for the first time since Sandy. It’ll be the longest continuous strip of boardwalk completed since the storm hit. According to the Parks Department, “As part of this work, supports salvaged from the old boardwalk are being laid across intact concrete pile caps to create a frame that will be topped with decking.” This project should wrap in the springtime, while repairing the entire Rockaway boardwalk is expected to take years.
The city released renderings for the Rockaway boardwalk redesign, but it may not become a reality until late 2016. DNAinfo reports that the designs includes a wavy pattern along the boardwalk, as well as one with blue stones placed throughout the concrete. The concrete boardwalk will be elevated above the former height to comply with new FEMA flood standards. Unfortunately, the Parks Department does not think it will finish the entire $200,000,000 project until 2016, for the 2017 beach season. The idea is to begin work at Beach 88th Street and continue working west, with the first section of the project between Beach 86th Street and Beach 97th Street finished in the summer of 2014. The city announced the design and construction team in charge of the rebuilding earlier this month.
The Parks Department just announced that the city awarded CH2M HILL the contract to oversee the design of the new Rockaway boardwalk and Skanska to manage the boardwalk’s construction. The boardwalk design is now being finalized after ongoing community outreach, and preliminary work is expected to begin this winter. Nearly five miles of the Rockaway Beach boardwalk, running from Beach 20th Street to Beach 126th Street, will be rebuilt as part of this project. According to Parks, “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 project also incorporates a master plan for the entire length of Rockaway Beach — this conceptual planning process will run concurrent with the boardwalk design. Parks expects a final conceptual plan to be complete early next year; one goal of this plan is to increase access to the beach and improve surrounding parks and rec facilities. The Parks Department already made huge strides along Rockaway Beach by removing debris, making repairs to damaged boardwalks, replacing buildings with elevated and storm-resistant models, creating boardwalk islands around beach amenities, installing ramps and stairs for beach access, implementing shoreline protective measures, repairing playgrounds and environmental monitoring.
Yesterday we told you that Mayor Bloomberg has decreed that the rebuilding of the Rockaway boardwalk – and all future NYC boardwalks – will never be built with wood again. Concrete is the other practical material with which to build the Rockaway boardwalk and those to come. Of course, the concrete can be formed into pieces that resemble wood, but it will nowhere be near the real thing.
That said, the only parts of the boardwalk that survived Hurricane Sandy were the ones made with concrete; the wooden parts were thrashed. So what do you think? Is the Mayor right? Or is nostalgia and natural materials more important when it comes to building a boardwalk? Should it actually be made of… boards? We’d love to know your thoughts – leave us a comment here or via twitter at @queensnycity.
Image source: Reuters via Travelers Today – concrete sections of the Rockaway boardwalk
Well, we’ve mentioned this boardwalk debate – wood vs. concrete – before, and had wondered what the decision would be in rebuilding the Rockaway beach boardwalk. Well, the Mayor has spoken – no wooden boardwalks will be constructed… EVER. (more…)
The Rockaway boardwalk has been the recent home to a number of food vendors, and has been part of a whole “food renaissance” there. The vendors have been a huge draw in the summers for regulars as well as people originally unfamiliar with the Rockaway peninsula. A lot of people have fallen in love with the Rockaways through the food.
These food vendors, many of them right there on the boardwalk, were hit hard, and have suffered much damage to property, not to mention the boardwalk in some areas is just gone. Overwhelmingly there is loss; some are expecting to rebuild; some are uncertain.
Vendors are situated from Beach 86 to Beach 106. Here are some status updates.
Caracas Arepa Bar. 106-01 Shore Front Pkwy – GMAP. According to a 10/31 Facebook update, “Caracas Rockaway… totally destroyed as well as the whole peninsula… we were there yesterday and it s really sad… we will reach out for volunteers to help people out there as soon as we have a clear idea on how to do it properly.”
Image source: Caracas Arepa Bar Facebook page November 13, 2012
Image source: NYDN – Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski near Beach 101st Street
The NY Daily News reports on the “unprecedented” destruction of the Rockaway boardwalk caused by Hurricane Sandy. People knew it was bad but were still astonished at the damage. In the words of Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway Park), “A symbol of the destruction has been the boardwalk.” Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski said, “It’s sheer devastation.”