Nearly all of Rockaway Beach is be reopened for swimming this weekend as the Army Corps of Engineers is completing its beach replenishment project on the shoreline’s busiest section.
According to the Parks Department, the entire beach from Beach 60th Street in Arverne to Beach 149th Street in Neponsit will be open for swimming by Friday.
There is still one more phase of the project, which will be done in the fall. That is on the section of the beach where the piping plovers, a federally-protected shorebird, are nesting.
“The Army Corps has indeed completed the area west of Beach 60th Street and is expected to resume pumping, east of Beach 60, after the conclusion of plovers’ nesting season,” said Parks spokesman Zachary Feder in an email. “However, aside from a few isolated days when the Army Corps was moving equipment, we have had about 2.5 miles available for swimming every day since Memorial Day weekend. The Army Corps demobilized earlier this week, and we’re returning to normal operations.”
Most of the beach in Belle Harbor and Neponsit — west of Beach 116th Street — had been opening for swimming since Memorial Day as the project focused on the beach to the east.
The work, which repaired erosion caused by Hurricane Sandy and made the beachfront larger and more resilient, was slated to be done by the end of June, but the Army Corps said last August it was aiming to be done by Memorial Day. Mechanical problems and bad winter weather caused delays, and some Rockaway residents were angry that significant portions of the beach had been closed to swimming, including typically busy stretches around Beach 96th Street.
A section of the beach between Beach 38th and 58th streets remains closed due to the nesting plovers, but that is typically the case in the summer. Information on swimming and how to best access Rockaway Beach is available at nyc.gov/parks, where daily updates are posted.