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USACE Reports Movement on Sandy Project

Posted on November 7, 2022

Army Corps, New York District Commander Col. Matthew Luzzatto, speaking to onlookers about the Superstorm Sandy Coastal Risk Reduction Program last Friday afternoon.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spoke positively about the progress being made regarding the Superstorm Sandy Coastal Risk Reduction Program last Friday afternoon on Beach 73rd Street Rockaway residents.

The program is a decade-long effort designed to increase coastal storm risk reduction measures for residents of communities across the tri-state.

“We’re here to take a few moments to reflect on tragedy; to reflect on the work we’ve done, and to complete what we’ve started,” said Army Corps New York District Commander Col. Matthew Luzzatto, who also moderated the event.

“It’s the opportunity to stay in the community you love without fear of the ocean,” Luzzatto told The Wave as far as what he thinks the work means to the community.

For the peninsula specifically, it means a $702 million project being built along the Atlantic Ocean shorefront as a result of damage caused by Sandy. It includes construction of a reinforced steel sheet pile dune, new and extended groins with beach restoration, and re-nourishment along the Atlantic Ocean shorefront.

The New York District is also working on a nature-based plan with structural features to be constructed on the Jamaica Bay shoreline to address coastal storm surge flooding. Two construction contracts totaling $340 million are ongoing along the shorefront until early 2026, while design work continues on the Jamaica Bay features, with construction scheduled to start in 2025.

“Rockaway is well on the way to recovery,” said Deputy Commissioner for Environment and Planning Jennifer Greenfeld, who also pointed out that 4.4 million visitors were welcomed on the peninsula over this past summer, “and the reconstruction of the 5.5 mile boardwalk is also a big step in the right direction,” Greenfeld added.

However, Commissioner Rohit Aggarwala, NYC Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice, pointed out that there is still more work to be done.

“Overall, New York City is much better protected than it was 10 years ago,” Aggarwala said, “but nowhere where it needs to be. We will be spending the rest of our lives keeping up with climate change; it’s our new reality.”

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, who also made an appearance at the event delivered a message of optimism.

“You must never, ever forget. I never forgot having to roll up my sleeves; never forgot the scenes of New Yorkers coming together to rebuild the Rockaway peninsula. I knew there wasn’t going to be a cavalry that would arrive here to save us. I like to say that ‘iron sharpens iron.’ And that is what makes us Rockaway,” said the Borough President. “We have the best beach on the eastern seaboard. We could not be prouder of our progress here. For the goal is not just to build back – but to build back even better.”



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