Upset over possible Rockaway closures 1

A busy stretch of Rockaway Beach could be closed from Memorial Day through the end of July for a groin construction project.

Beachgoers were shocked by news this week that a portion of the Rockaway Peninsula from Beach 92nd Street to Beach 116th Street could be closed from Memorial Day to the end of July.

“We’ve met with the [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] and NYC Parks on several occasions, and we were led to believe there was a plan in place for the completion of the groin construction project that would not interfere with the flow of business in the area,” read a letter from Councilwoman Joann Ariola (R-Ozone Park), state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer-Amato (D-Rockaway Park) to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Congressman Gregory Meeks (D-Rockaway) and Parks Commissioner Susan Donoghue.

“We strongly urge that actions be taken to intervene on behalf of our constituents, to either postpone or develop a plan where construction can continue on the groins without disrupting these vital areas until after the beach season has ended,” the letter concluded.

Rockaway newspaper The Wave broke the news on Tuesday when sources informed it of the rumors.

“We have not made any announcements on closures and we are finalizing a closure plan,” Parks spokesman Dan Kastanis told the Chronicle.

“The Army Corps is doing good work that is responsive to decades of local requests for new groins and replenished beaches. That work is ongoing.”

The Army Corps said in an emailed statement that it is willing to be flexible.

“The Corps of Engineers will continue to work with our partners at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the City of New York, and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to make sure there are minimal impacts to the 2022 beach season.

“The Corps is willing to be as flexible as possible with work schedules to ensure that the work does not pose any safety concerns for beachgoers. The City of New York will have final say on any potential beach closures, as they are responsible for New York City Beaches.”

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