ROCKAWAY POINT — The popular beach at Fort Tilden is scheduled to open this summer as work began Thursday on repairs and cleanup from Hurricane Sandy 16 months after the historic storm, according to a spokeswoman for the National Parks Service.
A spokeswoman for the National Parks Service, Daphne Yun, said work began Thursday to clean up damage from the storm, and it should be open in time for the 2014 beach season.
When asked why it took more than a year to clean up the Queens beach and park, Yun said that "Gateway is a large park, 26,000 acres — and there was a lot of damage from Hurricane Sandy."
"Last year our priority was to open life-guarded beaches," she said.
Nearby Riis Park beach has federal lifeguards, but the dune-filled shores at Fort Tilden are unmonitored.
Yun said the largest work needed for Fort Tilden is removing "large pieces of debris, including pieces of road."
The company awarded the bid to repair the national park, PARS Environmental, also worked to clean up a national wildlife preserve in New Jersey damaged by the storm, according to its website.