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Pricey Beach Bathrooms Set to Be Installed After Delay of More Than a Year

By Katie Honan | September 12, 2014 1:45pm
 The multimillion dollar bathrooms will move from an empty lot to their final beachfront home on Sept. 17.
The multimillion dollar bathrooms will move from an empty lot to their final beachfront home on Sept. 17.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

ARVERNE — The multimillion dollar bathrooms that sat unused for more than a year while being guarded by round-the-clock security will finally be installed at their permanent home next week, closing streets for several hours in some cases, officials said.

The moving process for the two pricey shacks — which were watched by a private security guard for more than a year as they languished behind the fence of an empty lot — begins Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m., according to the Parks Department.

The total cost of the 35 shacks that were part of the project, delivered to beaches across the city after Hurricane Sandy, has ballooned to more than $118 million, $13 million more than the original contract, according to city records. 

Two other shacks, both bathrooms, still sit unused in Brooklyn. The timeline for their installation in Brighton Beach is unknown; a judge ordered the Parks Department to prepare an environmental impact statement after local residents filed a lawsuit, a spokesman said.

The bathroom shacks in , which will sit elevated above the beach to protect them from future storms, have been sitting at Beach Channel Drive and Beach 104th Street since July 2013. They will be moved to Beach 67th Street on flatbed trucks with NYPD escort.

Beach Channel Drive to Beach 102nd Street, Beach 102nd Street to Shore Front Parkway, and then Shore Front to Beach 67th Street, "may be closed for a short amount of time" as they are transported, the Parks Department said. It's not clear exactly when the closures would be.

Beach Front Road, near Beach 69th Street, and Beach 67th Street will be closed from 4 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18 until 5 p.m. that day, except for local and emergency traffic, to facilitate the installation.

During that time, a crane will be installed at the site to hoist the structures up to their support piles.


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The comfort stations were delivered by barge to Rockaway in July 2013, two of the 35 shacks that were installed on Hurricane Sandy-damaged beaches as part of the city's  beach recovery.

Some of the structures began falling apart soon after they opened.

Doors rusted, railings were held together with duct tape, and lifeguards who used the shacks complained to DNAinfo about shoddy construction and rain getting inside through the temporary windows.

Community outcry against the structures on Beach 67th, which were approved without community notice or input, forced them to be warehoused in the lot.

Security guards in private cars watched the shacks 24 hours a day, seven days a week, although the guards have not been there in recent months. 

The Department of Design and Construction, which contracted the project, has refused to say how much the city was spending on private security — even denying a Freedom of Information Law request sent by DNAinfo for the information. 

Asked about the guards last December, a spokesman for the DDC referred a request for comment to a Parks Department spokesman, who said “security and contingencies are both included in the contract.”

“Further cost breakdowns could be made available after installation is completed,” he added.

In January, the DDC said the city had not completed the contract and therefore could not reveal the total amount for security.