Tuesday, October 29, 2019


The plan for Rockaway Beach calls for a composite seawall/dune from Beach 9th Street to Beach 149th Street, an increased beach berm, the extension of five groins already in place, and the construction of 13 new groins

 The de Blasio Administration and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) New York District today announce that they are in the process of receiving final approval for the East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay General Revaluation Report. Pending final approval, construction on the first elements of the project, focusing on groins that will prevent beach erosion, is expected to begin in 2020.

The full plan for Rockaway Beach calls for a reinforced seawall/dune that will stretch from Beach 9th Street to Beach 149th Street, an increased beach berm width with 1.6 million cubic yards of sand for initial placement, the extension of five groins already in place and the construction of 13 new groins – all designed to help reduce the risk from future coastal storms and provide additional resiliency for the residents of this community. Subsequently, the Army Corps plans to advance additional flood prevention projects, including High Frequency Flooding Risk Reduction Features (HFFRRF), on the Bay Side of the peninsula.

“We are moving rapidly to lock in the final approvals and get this vital resiliency project underway,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “For years, residents in the Rockaways have called for these measures to protect against future storms. We are closing in on the final steps needed to make them a reality, and give these communities the safety and the peace of mind they deserve. The Army Corps has been a tremendous partner, and we are grateful to the Corps, our federal officials and everyone who has fought to bring the Rockaways back after Sandy.”

“We’re making significant progress toward getting the approvals necessary to begin construction as soon as possible,” said Col. Tom Asbery, Commander, USACE, New York District. “This project will enable us to provide additional flood risk reduction measures for the residents of the Rockaway community and continue the Corps’ mission to provide real world solutions to the toughest challenges in the nation. I’d like to thank our partners at the local, state and federal levels for their tremendous support.”

“Since Hurricane Sandy, we have worked diligently with the Army Corps of Engineers to fortify our shores and prevent damage from future storms. Now we are on the final steps of confirming that resilience project to build dunes and groins that can prevent erosion, flooding, and the damage we’ve seen in the past. I thank the Mayor and the Corps for their continued cooperation, and look forward to seeing the project fully underway so all the families and businesses along Rockaway can rest assured that our shore is protected,” said Congressman Gregory Meeks.

“These vital protections will make communities across the Rockaway peninsula safer and more resilient,” said Jainey Bavishi, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Resiliency. “We’re partnering closely with the Army Corps to advance this effort as quickly as possible and expect to sign a Project Partnership Agreement by this winter.”    

In August 2019, Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, USACE Commanding General, signed the Chief’s Report for the Atlantic Coast of New York East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Hurricane Sandy Reformulation Study. The report transmitted the Corps of Engineers' recommendation to the Assistant Secretary for the Army for Civil Works for review and final approval.

Hurricane Sandy caused significant damage across the Tri-State area. Thousands of homes and an estimated 250,000 vehicles were destroyed during the storm, and the economic losses in New York City were estimated to be roughly $19 billion with an estimated $32.8 billion required for restoration across the state. Rockaway was one of the hardest hit areas. Residents had their homes destroyed, dealt with significant fires, and extended power loss that went on for weeks at a time in some cases. Since then, USACE has placed over 3 million cubic yards of sand to repair beaches, fortify dunes and increase resiliency.

The Atlantic Coast of New York East Rockaway Inlet to Rockaway Inlet and Jamaica Bay Study is a partnership between the Army Corps and the non-Federal Sponsor, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and in cooperation with New York City.

The $600 million project is authorized for construction using the P.L. 113-2 (Sandy) funding at 100 percent full Federal cost. Pending approval by the Assistant Secretary for the Army for Civil Works, construction is currently scheduled to begin in 2020.

Once the report has been approved, USACE will move forward with the first contract related to this project. That contract is expected to consist of a comprehensive erosion control package that will include the construction of the additional stone groins and refurbishments to the existing groins, among other features.

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