March 20, 2013 | 1057 views
Long Beach OKs revised Army Corps project
City Council votes to back $150 million coastal protection plan
The Long Beach City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to move forward with a $150 million Army Corps of Engineers project that was described as the first major step toward protecting the barrier island from future storms like Hurricane Sandy.
The vote came after representatives of the corps met with city and Town of Hempstead officials to discuss modifying a coastal protection plan that was authorized by Congress but rejected by the City Council in 2006. City Manager Jack Schnirman said that the corps is factoring the concerns of city officials and residents into a revised version of the project.
Plans call for a dune system nearly 16 feet above sea level that would extend from the West End of Long Beach to Point Lookout, and raise the height of the beach by five feet.
“We feel we have some flexibility within that project to move it forward and address all of the concerns that we had,” said the city’s public works commissioner, Jim LaCarrubba. “It’s the only project right now that can accept money from the Sandy Recovery Act.”
Schnirman said that the vote authorizes the city to enter into a partnership agreement with the state to move forward with the Army Corps project. It will be federally funded, with no cost to taxpayers. “When the project is completed,” Schnirman said, “the City of Long Beach will then have an engineered beach for the first time ever, and this will serve in essence as an insurance policy should a storm hit us in the future.”
The council voted on the same day that the Town of Hempstead also signed off on the project, which now requires approval from Nassau County and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
In 2006, the City Council voted unanimously against a $98.5 million beach preservation project designed by the corps to protect nine miles of shoreline from ocean flooding, mainly because it did not address flooding along Reynolds Channel. A number of residents complained that the project would ruin ocean views, and that dredging and beach replenishment might negatively affect wave conditions, sand quality and rip currents.
KeywordsCity of Long Beach, NY 11561, Army Corps of Engineers, City Manager Jack Schnirman, Public Works Commissioner Jim LaCarrubba, Long Beach City Council, Coastal Planning & Engineering, Department of Environmental Conservation, Town of Hempstead, Point Lookout, N.Y. Hurricane Sandy, Long Beach Herald, Anthony Rifilato