Mile-Long Stretch of Rockaway Beach Will Be Closed for Labor Day Weekend

By Katie Honan on August 30, 2013 7:08am 

 A photo of Rockaway Beach, where more than a mile of beach will be closed Labor Day weekend.
A photo of Rockaway Beach, where more than a mile of beach will be closed Labor Day weekend.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

ROCKAWAY BEACH —It's an end-of-summer bummer.

More than a mile of the beach in Rockaway will be closed Labor Day weekend, and residents are kicking up sand over the city’s last-minute announcement.

The stretch from Beach 110th Street to Beach 130th Street, and Beach 88th Street to Beach 93rd Street, will be closed for dredging by the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, the Parks Department announced Thursday night.

More beaches could be closed depending on the weather and pace of sand replenishment, a Parks spokesman said.

The dredging is part of a $36 million plan to repair beaches in Rockaway that were severely eroded after Hurricane Sandy blasted the Queens peninsula.

The project, which began in July, has closed some stretches of beach throughout the summer.

Those beaches have reopened as the project continues west along the peninsula, with Beach 94th to 109th open for the first time this summer.

Some residents, though, are furious over the timing of both the announcement and closure of such a large stretch of beach.

“We need the protection, and I knew it was going to come, but two days before the last holiday weekend is frustrating,” said Christopher Gahn, who lives on Beach 121st Street.

Gahn, a member of Local 7, added that he think’s it’s a “disgrace” that dredging work would happen on Labor Day.

His neighbor, Beth Hanning, was planning her 10th annual beach party and tried to get information from the Parks Department all week about which beaches would be open, she said.

Now, with over a mile of beach closed, she has to figure something else out.

“I still don’t have a kitchen, my basement isn’t done yet, and this is what I was looking forward to,” she said.

“You’re going to close 20 beaches on a holiday weekend? Why can’t it just wait until Tuesday?”

The Parks Department, in an effort to accommodate the lack of open beaches, said there will be an access point at Beach 115th Street leading beachgoers to a lifeguard-protected beach at 109th Street.

But it's too little — with an announcement too late — for some.

“We’ve been through enough," said Gahn. "More than two days would have been polite. But this is how the city operates.”

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