Photo By Erica Sherman
Plumb Beach is considered one of the most vulnerable stretches of coastlines in the city, and the overall sand replenishment and long-term restoration effort undertaken by federal and city officials is being considered as a model for rehabilitating Sandy-devastated areas. NY1 is reporting on the progress and the specifics of Plumb Beach, an effort expected to be finished by the end of the year.
Previously, we reported on the Army Corps of Engineers work on Plumb Beach, noting that the first phase of the operation, which was sand replenishment, had been completed. Phase two involves the construction of two terminal groins and one offshore breakwater and the installation of 1.2 acres of beach grass. Army Corps engineer John Knight described the purpose of the stone groins to NY1.
“The eastern groin right there acts as a catch for sand movement along the beach, keeps the sand and the protection in place on the shoreline itself,” Knight said.
The report also described how, as work continues, the project is laying the foundation for other shore restoration projects needed following Sandy:
Officials say the work here needs to be replicated in Sandy-devastated areas.
“This was a success story. It’s a wonderful model for the type of work that we must do,” [Representative Hakeem] Jeffries said.
“It’s going to allow us to do this very similar work in the Rockaways, which we already started with 4 million cubic yards of sand that will be laid there, and very shortly after that, right here in Brooklyn’s Coney Island,” Jeffrey said.
To see video of the construction effort being undertaken by the Army Corps, click here.
The Plumb Beach bike path – part of the Brooklyn Greenway that extends around most of the borough’s waterfront – has reopened several months earlier than expected, as the Army Corps of Engineers subcontractors working on the nearby beach have found a way to accommodate cycling enthusiasts.
The bike path was closed in May, when the Army Corps of Engineers announced that it needed the parking lot and path to serve as a staging area for construction to replenish Plumb Beach. Initially, they said the bike path would be open, but decided to close it for safety reasons. The plan was to keep it closed until the end of the year, when construction wraps up.
But Sheepshead Bites learned that the path was quietly reopened recently, and the Army Corp confirmed that the contractor finished up initial work and found a way to reorganize equipment, allowing for safe usage.
It’s just in time, too, as nearly 1,000 cyclists plan to roll through the neighborhood and onto the bike path as part of the 5th Annual Brooklyn Waterfront Epic Ride this Saturday, promoting the greenway. (Oh, and they’ll be using Neptune Avenue and Emmons Avenue to get there, so expect to see hundreds of bicyclists this weekend.)
However, the path might be officially open, but that doesn’t mean it’s repaired. As we’ve reported - somewhat exhaustively – the 300 feet or so of path that crumbled into the sea in 2009 remains a sandy mess, and cyclists will be forced to get off their bikes and walk it the distance. Money has been allocated for the repairs, but that won’t happen before next year – if not later.
Bad news for bicyclists. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has changed its plans regarding the bike path that runs along Plumb Beach. In a press release, the Army Corps of Engineers has announced that a section of the bike path will be closed until construction is complete – which won’t be before December.
Last March, we reported that the Army Corps of Engineers was planning on creating a detour for the bike path, but upon further review, it appears that the Engineers are reneging on their promise to keep it open. Dan Falt, the Army Corps project manager for the Plumb Beach project explained why change of heart:
“We had originally hoped that we would be able to maintain a detour for bicyclists and pedestrians while carrying out this critical coastal storm risk reduction work, but it’s becoming clear that in order to ensure public safety around the active construction site we’re going to have to close the bike lane completely. We’re doing this work in an extremely tight space, surrounded by water and the busy Belt Parkway and we need to make sure that the contractor has the space to operate while also ensuring public safety by keeping bicyclists and pedestrians away from the construction activities,” Falt said in the release.
Bicyclists riding along the bike path will have to get off the path at Flatbush Avenue if they are traveling west or Knapp Street if traveling east to prevent riding into the closed section.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced plans to kick off the second phase of construction on Plumb Beach in April, but say they’ll have to close the parking lot and detour the damaged bike path until the end of the year.
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Photo by Erica Sherman
Having completed the first phase of their restoration of Plumb Beach, the Army Corps of Engineers has put out a request for proposals regarding the second phase of their operation, according to a press release.
The first phase of the Engineers project involved the dumping of 127,000 cubic yards of sand to rehabilitate the eroded coastline. For the second phase, the Corps are now planning to construct two terminal groins and one offshore breakwater. They also plan to plant 1.2 acres of beach grass.
UPDATE (1:36 p.m.): Looks like our report was a little late. Army Corps of Engineers announced this afternoon that the contract has been awarded. Here’s a portion of their press release:
NEW YORK – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District has awarded a $2 million contract to Village Dock, Inc., of Port Jefferson, N.Y., to complete the second and final phase of construction at the coastal storm risk reduction project at Plumb Beach in Brooklyn along the Belt Parkway.
Phase I was completed in late 2012 and involved placing approximately 127,000 cubic yards of sand in the severely eroded Plumb Beach area along the Belt Parkway, a busy highway and a critical piece of the city’s infrastructure. The sand was placed just prior to Hurricane Sandy’s arrival and helped prevent serious damage to the Belt Parkway. Phase I also involved the installation of a temporary geotube groin structure to help mitigate the loss of Phase I sand while the Corps awaited the ability to award Phase II.
Phase II involves the construction of two permanent stone groins at each end of the beach to help mitigate erosion in the long run. It also involves the construction of a permanent stone breakwater in the water off of the severely eroded area essentially parallel to the beach to mitigate future sand loss. Phase II also involves planting vegetation in sand dunes to help strengthen them as well as the installation of sand fencing to trap sand blowing landward.
While Phase I provides immediate coastal storm risk reduction benefits to both the Belt Parkway and the frequently used bike path along it, Phase II is designed to keep the coastal storm risk reduction benefits in place longer by managing the movement of sand and greatly reducing the need for future renourishments at the project site.
The Phase I contract went for $3.5 million, so the total between the two contracts is $5.5 million – $1 million shy of the Army Corps of Engineers’ estimated price tag of $6.5 million.