BY LUIS GRONDA
Sand is coming to a popular beach that bore the brunt of Sandy’s wrath.
Work began last week in replacing much of the sand at Rockaway Beach that was lost as a result of Superstorm Sandy last year.
The Army Corps of Engineers will lead the work to bring about 3.5 million cubic yards of sand to the beach, including 600,000 cubic yards that will be pumped between Beach 89 and 149 streets.
In addition to the new sand, two other additions to the beach will be protective walls between Beach 126 and Beach 149 streets and sand-filled trout bags in sections of the beach as well.
At a news conference announcing the first phase of that work, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said not only will the sand be replaced, but the wall and trout bags will aim at better protecting the beach and the community living near it when a future storm comes to New York.
“Together, these measures will not only reverse damage to the beach done by Sandy, they will make the beach stronger than it was before the storm,” Bloomberg said. “That means that communities in the peninsula will be better protected from future storms and flooding.”
Col. Paul Owens, who is in charge of the project, said there are three separate phases for this Rockaways project. The second phase will include three million cubic yards of sand for the beach. He said this will be the most sand in Rockaway Beach since the 1970s.
“If you’ve been around long enough and you can remember what the beaches look like in terms of the dimensions and space…you can put in your mind what it’s going to look like when we get done,” Owens said.
The third phase, he said, will be a long-term study, looking at the Rockaway Peninsula and how it can be better protected from future Sandy-like storms.
He added that the first phase is scheduled to be completed by June 2014.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.