News Releases

Bike lane to remain open through remainder of Army Corps Plumb Beach coastal storm risk reduction construction, but beach and parking lot to remain closed

Published Aug. 7, 2013

NEW YORK – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District will be completing the second and final Phase of coastal storm risk reduction work at Plumb Beach in Brooklyn along the Belt Parkway through most of the rest of the calendar year and the bike lane, which had been closed during construction activities earlier this year, is now back open for public use.

*-- The Corps of Engineers previously announced that there would be a bike lane detour, which was later changed to a full bike lane closure, due to construction activities, but as crews get closer to the next phase of construction activities other site arrangements have been made that will allow the bike lane to remain open for pedestrians and bicyclists through the remainder of construction.--*

“We had originally hoped to limit our impact on pedestrians and bicyclists in the area around the construction activities and we’re pleased to announce that despite having closed the bike lane earlier this summer we’ve now coordinated with our partners in the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation so that there is room for the bike lane to stay open while our construction activities can move forward on this critical coastal storm risk reduction work,” said Dan Falt, Army Corps project manager for the Plumb Beach coastal storm risk reduction project. “I know the bike lane’s status has changed a couple of times throughout this construction process, but we’re confident that we’ll be able to leave this bike lane open throughout the remainder of our construction activities.”

Crews have cleared the sand from the bike lane that was blown onto the path during Hurricane Sandy, but users are cautioned that storm damage to the lane from a nor'easter prior to Sandy created a break that Parks has structurally repaired but remains unpaved. Bicyclists should dismount and walk through this section of path. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation has been directed to hold permanent repairs to the bike lane until after the Corps of Engineers project is completed.

As previously announced, the beach and parking lot will remain closed to the public for the duration of the work, which is expected to be completed before the end of December.

Crews completed certain aspects of the Phase II contract earlier this year. As part of the Phase II contract, crews have already planted beach grass along the sand dunes and trees and shrubs in the back dune area between the base of the dune and the bike path to help strengthen and naturalize them and retain sand. Crews have also installed sand fencing to trap sand blowing landward onto the Belt Parkway.

Phase II work set to begin soon involves the construction of two permanent stone groins at each end of the beach to help mitigate erosion in the long run. It also involves the construction of a permanent stone breakwater in the water off the severely eroded area parallel to the beach to mitigate future sand loss.

The groin and breakwater work is expected to begin this month, as it was not started earlier this year in order to comply with environmental restrictions.

The Phase II work is being carried out by Village Dock, Inc., of Port Jefferson, N.Y., as part of a $2 million contract.

Even if there appears to be a gap in work between the work on vegetation planting and sand fencing construction and the work on the groin and breakwater construction – the beach and parking lot will remain closed so the contractor can continue to stay mobilized and store equipment and stones and so that the vegetation will have time to settle in the dune and back dune areas undisturbed.

Phase I was completed in late 2012 and involved placing approximately 127,000 cubic yards of sand in the severely eroded Plumb Beach area along the Belt Parkway, a busy highway and a critical piece of the city’s infrastructure. The sand was placed just prior to Hurricane Sandy’s arrival and helped prevent serious damage to the Belt Parkway. Phase I also involved the installation of a temporary geotube groin structure to help mitigate the loss of Phase I sand until the completion of Phase II. This temporary geotube will be removed in Phase II when the permanent stone groin is constructed in its place.

While Phase I provides immediate coastal storm risk reduction benefits to both the Belt Parkway and the frequently used bike path along it, Phase II is designed to keep the coastal storm risk reduction benefits in place longer by managing the movement of sand and greatly reducing the need for future renourishments at the project site.

The local cost-sharing sponsor for both phases of the project is the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation with 65 percent of funding being federal and 35 percent being local. Phase I was completed through a $3.5 million contract with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock based out of Oak Brook, Ill., and beneficially reused sand dredged from Ambrose Channel as part of ongoing efforts to deepen the navigation channels associated with the Port of New York and New Jersey.

The project includes work on National Park Service land. The Corps and New York City officials worked closely with the National Park Service during the planning of the project and the sand placement phase and will continue to do so during Phase II.

About New York District: New York District is responsible for the Corps of Engineers’ water resource development, navigation, and regulatory activities in northeastern New Jersey, eastern and south-central New York State, including the New York Harbor and Long Island, and parts of Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. The District is also responsible for design and construction at Army and Air Force installations in New Jersey, New York and overseas in Greenland.

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Chris Gardner

Release no. 13-021