NBC 4 New York
Residents and holiday beachgoers are not happy about part of the Rockaway Beach closing for Labor Day weekend as part of a post-Sandy beach restoration project. Tom Llamas reports.
A part of Rockaway Beach will be closed Labor Day weekend as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers works on replenishing sand wiped out after Sandy, officials say.
The beaches along Beach 110th Street through Beach 130th Street will be closed at least through Labor Day, according to Chris Gardner, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers. Crews will be replacing 3.5 million cubic yards of sand as part of the ongoing beach restoration project.
A smaller section of the beach, from Beach 88th to Beach 93rd, will also be closed.
Beachgoers Friday hadn't heard of the planned closures, and they questioned the timing of the project.
"How could they do this on Labor Day weekend?" said Gigi Ferrara of Sunnyside, Queens.
"That's a horrible decision," said Faith Vanalstyne. "Labor Day is when you're supposed to come to the beach with your family and the kids, have fun. To close it down, they can't just wait?"
Gardner said the project was beginning on the Labor Day weekend because "a lot of the folks in Rockaway have told us to start as soon as possible."
He said the Army Corps also wanted to get the work done before hurricane season.
The sand will be transported to the area from the East Rockaway Inlet.
Rockaway resident Nick Scorcia says the Rockaways needs the help, but besides the noise and the closures, the water has also become less enjoyable.
"Now it's dirty because of all the dredging they're doing, the dark sand they're pulling in," he said.
The Army Corps of Engineers has already completed beach restoration from Beach 94th Street to Beach 10th Street, where a beach berm was created. That area is now open to the public.