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Beach closures to come this summer

The Atlantic Shorefront Resiliency Project began in 2020 and will continue through 2026. Above, work continued on the Rockaway Peninsula last summer.

Posted on April 19, 2023

As the weather warms up and beach season approaches, officials have provided updates on construction that will dictate where New Yorkers will be able to cool off near the Rockaways.

Beaches will be closed on a rolling basis due to ongoing resiliency work by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Ten to fifteen blocks of beach will be temporarily closed to all access throughout the summer, moving westward from Beach 116 and moving eastward from Beach 143, according to the city Parks Department.

The closures will be rolling, Parks announced in a statement last week, and over the course of the summer, the work zones, open beaches and beach access will shift as the work progresses.

The entirety of the Rockaway boardwalk will remain open and existing concessions will not be impacted.

Beaches officially open on Saturday, May 27.

“There is no question, the Rockaways have been severely impacted by coastal storms and intense erosion over the years and the improvements we’re making as part of our ongoing Coastal Storm Risk Reduction Project will go a long way toward reducing risk to these communities from future storms,” said Colonel Matthew Luzzatto, commander of the USACE New York District in a prepared statement.

“I continue to be impressed and thankful for the tremendous work done by my team and our partners, especially NYC Parks, as we continue to work diligently at reducing coastal storm risk for the residents of the Rockaways,” continued Luzzatto.

Kizzy Charles-Guzman, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice, said the closures will help protect the “frontline community” and bring a safer and more resilient beach.

The $336 million Atlantic Shorefront Resiliency Project, which aims to address severe erosion and flooding from coastal storms, began in 2020 and is set to continue through 2026.

The project consists of 14 new stone groin structures, which extend into the ocean and reduce erosion, the rehabilitation of five existing groins, the construction of a reinforced dune system and sand renourishment on the Atlantic side of the peninsula.

As for the western portion of the peninsula, a sand replenishment project at Jacob Riis Park is scheduled to begin this month and finish by mid-June. During that time, sections of the beach will be closed to the public.

Bays 3 through 5 will remain closed until sand placement has been completed but the boardwalk will remain open, the National Parks Service announced this week.

In 2022, sections of the beach at Jacob Riis Park were closed due to beach erosion, which created unsafe conditions and exposed deteriorated wooden groins, rockwork and other structures, according to the NPS. The exposed structures were not always visible, especially at high tide, and were dangerous to swimmers. The upcoming sand placement project aims to improve these unsafe conditions.

Approximately 360,000 cubic yards of sand along 5,000 feet of shorefront will be coming.


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