DESCRIPTION: Orchard Beach is located in Pelham Bay Park on the northeast shore of the Borough of the Bronx, New York, at the western end of Long Island Sound. Orchard Beach is an artificial beach constructed by the City of New York between 1935 and 1937. The beach is crescent-shaped, approximately 400 feet wide and one mile long, and constructed across Pelham Bay, which connects Hunter Island and Rodman's Neck.
AUTHORIZATION: Section 309 (e) of the Water Resources Development Act of 1992; Section 554 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1996; and Section 3122 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2007.
STATUS: Erosion of the shoreline had reduced the size of the recreational beach, causing severe overcrowding of the facility. Also, an uneven beach slope had resulted in a dangerous drop-off zone posing a hazard to bathers. A cost-sharing Design Agreement to conduct the design phase for Orchard Beach was executed between the Corps of Engineers and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on December 20, 2000. The State of New York was also joined by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, which owns and manages Pelham Bay Park.
The Final Re-Evaluation Report & Environmental Assessment, dated March 2005, was approved by the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) in August 2006. The recommended plan of improvement for Orchard Beach includes initial beach placement and groin rehabilitation, and includes periodic nourishment, as authorized.
A Project Partnership Agreement for project construction was executed July 29, 2010 with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. The project is cost-shared 50% Federal, 50% City of New York. Construction started in late October 2010 and was completed in late January 2011 at a total cost of approximately $12 million, and included placement of 268,000 cubic yards of beachfill and nearly 4,000 tons of stone for groin rehab, allowing for the opening of the new beach to occur during the 2011 summer beach season. The need for any future sand renourishment will be determined by yearly assessments of the project's existing condition.
Frank Verga, Project Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District, Programs and Project Management Division
26 Federal Plaza, New York, NY 10278
Phone: (917) 790-8212
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS: NY-14, NY-15