A Boardwalk but no sea wall? Rockaway residents concerned by $200 million recovery plan

Posted at 7:30 PM, Sep 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-18 19:30:16-04

THE ROCKAWAYS (PIX11) – As the city works on its contemporary multi-million dollar beach bathrooms in the Rockaways, residents are still trying to identify exactly when they will see relief, “I can’t see them spending all that money when we had all that property damage out here,” said Jose Sanchez as he worked on his home on the corner of Beach 96th Street.

He’s been working non-stop since his first floor was was sliced when the old boardwalk came barreling through during Sandy.  Sanchez like many others are frustrated with the city, especially as a new boardwalk design presented Tuesday night failed to show a seawall, “Well that’s the city for you. I mean, we do need that seawall, if anything we need a jetty.”

Arlene Toomey didn’t have access to her building after it absorbed major damage, but she is back and she hopes for the return of new boardwalk as well.  This said, she is skeptical at the progress, “They’re trying but I wish it were quicker, the boardwalk especially.”

When asked if she feels like she’s getting the straight answers she’d like?  “No, I don’t think so.  I’m to the point where I don’t believe too many people any more. Why is it taking so long?”

The city’s new 4.7 mile boardwalk has a price tag of approximately $200-million dollars.  In the eyes of most it’s nice to see its return but residents like Betsy Ladd want a seawall, especially after what they had to endure, “It knocked half of my house down.  The boardwalk went onto my house so it is kind of scary.”

A NYC Parks and Recreation  spokesperson says that the seawall is still very much a possibility but also added that the city has spent time this summer building up the beach with 14-foot tall sand dunes.

For weekly beach goers like John Longshore out of Astoria the progress from his perspective has been encouraging, “I think that building these three islands, the 86th street, the 98th and then the one up at 108th or 106th, I think was tremendous progress and I’m very pleased about that.”

Shortly before 4:30 p.m. a second spokesperson from NYC Parks and Recreation told PIX 11 News that the project will take a least two years to complete since it involves the Army Corp of Engineers. The spokesman also reinforced the potential for a seawall, even though the designs failed to show one Tuesday night.