ROCKAWAY PARK — The first new landing for the Citywide Ferry that will restore service to the Rockaways was being installed along Jamaica Bay on Wednesday, months before the route is slated to launch in June.
The new president of the Economic Development Corporation, James Patchett, signed a steel pile that will help hold up the dock before being joined by locals who've pushed for the return of the Rockaway ferry since it was suspended in 2014.
The route — from Rockaway Park with a stop in Brooklyn, then Wall Street and East 33rd Street — will now be part of the larger ferry service, which will also include South Brooklyn and Astoria routes.
"It's a really exciting day, and we're thrilled to be out here," Patchett said, after signing his name in silver pen.
Residents were equally as excited. A driver along Beach Channel drive, adjacent to the new ferry dock, honked and cheered as officials were gathered.
James Patchett signs a steel pile that will help hold up the new ferry dock in Rockaway Park. (DNAinfo/Katie Honan)
It'll take about two weeks to drive in all the piles for the landing, and the city will then return in a few months to connect the electricity, he said.
Patchett, the newly-appointed president of the EDC, said the routes are "still on time to start in June."
One of the 19 ferry boats, which are under construction in Alabama and Louisiana, is set to be finished in a few weeks.
Work will begin on the next ferry landing in Astoria within the next few weeks, Patchett added.