Archive for the tag 'plumb beach'

Plumb Beach Bike Path Destroyed By Hurricane Ida

Plumb Beach immediately after Hurricane Ida in 2009. The stretch of bike path has since been removed, and erosion has beaten back the shoreline even more.

ONLY ON SHEEPSHEAD BITES: The money’s finally in the pot to make long-awaited repairs to a section of bicycle path that crumbled into the waters off Plumb Beach nearly four years ago.

Councilman Lew Fidler informed Sheepshead Bites that he has allocated $450,000 in the Fiscal Year 2014 city budget to shore up and lay new asphalt to approximately 300 feet of bike path at Plumb Beach, after Hurricane Ida caused the stretch to fall into the sea in 2009. The path is currently closed, and has long been neglected as officials slowly rolled out plans to fight erosion at the beach, and quibbled about whether or not funding was available.

The money was allocated to the Parks Department, which is responsible for maintaining the path, Fidler said, and it should cover the entire job. But if $450,000 seems to be a high price tag for 300 feet of asphalt, Fidler said the funds were justified by the path’s important location as a physical barrier between the water and the Belt Parkway.

“Anyone who thinks it is no more than laying asphalt isn’t remembering why it needs to be done to begin with. It collapsed. It needs to be rebuilt,” he said. “If it doesn’t cost $450,000, the excess money will be returned. Better than if the amount is short, which delays the project for another fiscal year.”

It’s unclear, however, when work will begin on project. Parks projects often take three to four years before the first shovel hits the ground, as the department engages in surveys and studies in the run-up to construction. Representatives from the Parks Department said it’s too soon to tell if the bike path will follow the same schedule.

“It’s too early right now to have details on this since FY 2014 doesn’t begin until July 1. After the funding is confirmed we will start the process of survey and design, then develop a bid and procure a contractor. Next month we should have a better idea of when work is expected to begin,” Parks spokesperson Meghan Lalor wrote in an e-mail to Sheepshead Bites last week.

Fidler, though, is more optimistic.

“I assume it will go forward more expeditiously than most jobs once the Plumb Beach restoration is done,” he said.

Fidler said in 2012 that funding for the project would come from $9 million he allocated for the construction of nearby Brigham Street Park. At the time, however, Parks claimed that those funds would only go to the park itself, and there remained no funding for bike path repairs.

The Plumb Beach parking lot and bicycle path are currently closed, as contractors secured by the Army Corps of Engineers continue the second and final phase of erosion protection at the beach. The site – a former channel that separated Plumb Beach from the mainland and allowed water to pass through into Shell Bank Creek before the creation of the Belt Parkway – has long been victim to nature’s fury. After years of erosion ate away the coastline in an attempt to reclaim the channel, the beach was shored up in 1992. Over the next decade, the new sand washed away, reviving calls from groups like the Sheepshead Bay – Plumb Beach Civic Association for a long-term fix. After Hurricane Ida pummeled the beach in 2009, when water threatened the Belt Parkway’s resiliency and obliterated the bike path, Army Corps began studying possible fixes, and determined it would restore the sand, add vegetation that would hold it in place, and construct two stone groins and a breakwater that would keep sand from drifting away.

Contractors closed the parking lot and bike path to stage their equipment as they begin the second phase of the project – constructing the groins and breakwater, and planting vegetation.

The plan to protect Plumb Beach includes a breakwater and two stone groins at both ends of the beach.

plumb-beach

As we all know by now, the Army Corps of Engineers has been hard at work replenishing sand at Plumb Beach and installing long-term fixes to prevent against future erosion.

At ground level, the one thing you notice is that, hey, there’s actually a beach again in that area near the parking lot closest to the Belt Parkway. That section was the most heavily eroded, with just a few feet of sand bags between the water and the highway. Now there’s a nice stretch of sand. Other than that, though, it’s hard to see the extent of the work.

Until now. A local photographer who asked not to be named sent in this fantastic aerial photo of Plumb Beach after the Army Corps of Engineers completed phase one of the project, in which they pumped in fresh sand from the Ambrose Channel. That’s Gerritsen Beach in the forground.

In phase two of the project, Army Corps contractors have closed off the parking lot and bike path as they bring in equipment. They’ll be constructing two rock jetties at either end of the eroded section. One will go near where the sand roughly drops away in the photo above, and the other will be just at the right edge of the image. They’ll also add a groin in the middle – a man-made sandbar of sorts that will help diminish the power of the waves before they strike the sand.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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.

Who left their ugly RV on the beach?

We’ve received a lot of e-mails these last few days about what’s going on at Brigham Street, south of Emmons Avenue. The stretch of street that abuts the waterway was been closed off by police, and cranes, barges and construction equipment have taken up the space since Monday.

No, it ain’t the beginning of Brigham Street Park. You’ll have to wait a few more years for that one.

The answer lies in a post we did a few days ago where we updated about the new Brighton Beach and Coney Island bathrooms. In it, we also included the schedule of street closures that goes along with it. Among the closures:

Brigham Street South of Emmons Avenue from midnight Monday, May 6, to 6 a.m. Friday, May 10.

That’s because the new stations arrive in one piece. That’s right – huge, truck-sized structures – barreling through New York City’s streets. That, understandably, didn’t seem like such a good idea to local planners. So, instead, the structures arrive by barge, are lifted off it by a crane, placed onto a truck, taken to their location, lifted off the truck by a crane, and installed on the concrete piles already installed – much to the chagrin of local residents.

Brigham Street appears to be the area planners identified as the best, most accomodating option to make that first move from barge to truck. So that’s what all the commotion is about.

Oh, and the bathrooms have arrived. The one at the top of this post was placed on Brighton Beach this morning, and photographed by reader Ira Rubinsky. Nope, that’s not an abandoned RV on the beach…

Here’s the view of the crane at Brigham, as seen from the Breakers:

Photo by Albert

The National Weather Service issued a sudden Flash Flood Warning shortly before 8:30 a.m. and lasting until 9:15 a.m., as a torrent of rainfall came down on Brooklyn, flooding homes, highways and and streets.

There was major flooding on the Belt Parkway near Cropsey Avenue, and the highway ultimately shut down for short period because of it. Eventually one lane in each direction reopened. Also near Cropsey Avenue, there were reports on the police scanner that cars were submerged on Shore Parkway, and even drifting in the current.

We heard about flooding from Plumb Beach all the way to Dyker Heights. Now that it’s over, we’re still waiting to hear about conditions in certain parts of the neighborhood, like the Plumb Beach bungalow courts and areas around Cropsey Avenue. If you know how it is, please fill us in in the comments!

Readers have kept us updated so far, sending in the following photos.

This one’s from the entrance to the Belt Parkway at Bay Parkway, going west:

Photo by Regina Sorkin.

Things aren’t much better on the Belt Parkway, even now that the rain has stopped. Reader Rachel Tarantul sent us a photo taken just a few minutes after 10:00 a.m. that shows water sitting in two lanes of the highway, and only one lane is open in each direction. She says traffic is terrible.

And this was by the Cropsey bus depot:

Photo by Regina Sorkin.

Along the border of Coney Island and Brighton Beach, this is from the parking lot of 601 Surf Avenue:

Photo by Regina Sorkin.

We’re also hearing about homes and building basements flooding. A reader tweeted to us that a Sheepshead Bay apartment building on Homecrest Avenue near Avenue Z had several inches of water. Our own Elle Spektor is dealing with a flooded basement in her Bensonhurst home. Here’s what it looked like in the streets near her:

And here’s one of a flooded Sheepshead Bay garage, on Avenue W and East 26th Street, from reader Danil Rudoy:

Nearby, on Avenue V between Brigham Street and Brown Street, reader nolastname snapped this. There’s about two inches of water filling up the alleyway.

In Manhattan Beach – an area that has certainly seen more than enough water lately – Albert Hasson sent us this photo of a car trying to get through what appears to be at least a foot of water on Ocean Avenue:

Hopefully now that the rain stopped – and almost exactly at 9:15 a.m., as the National Weather Service predicted – the water is receding and things getting back to normal. Make sure to let us know if there’s any lasting damage or floodwater in your area, and send photos and other information to nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Updated (10:49 a.m.) to add the photo from nolastname.

Source: National Parks Service

Hundreds of horseshoe crabs invaded the subtle slopes of Plumb Beach’s shoreline in their own sex-fueled, prehistoric rendition of the Allied invasion of Normandy last week, as horseshoe crab mating season kicked off on Thursday, April 25.

The National Parks Service snapped the photo above of some of the crabs getting down and dirty. The animals have been taking to soft-sloped beaches of the mid-Atlantic during the spring’s new and full moons for 400 million years, one of the few living species known to predate the earliest dinosaurs. Female crabs come ashore and deposit up to 20,000 eggs each, followed by a handful of males clinging to their tails and fertilizing the eggs in their wake.

The crabs come up in late April, May, and throughout June – just before high tide or long after sunset – during full and new moons. You can see them around the following dates:

  • Thursday, April 25, 2013 (Full Moon)
  • Friday, May 10 (New Moon)
  • Saturday, May 25 (Full Moon)
  • Saturday, June 8 (New Moon)
  • Sunday, June 23 (Full Moon)
  • Saturday. July 6 (New Moon)
  • Monday, July 22 (Full Moon)
  • Wednesday, August 7 (New Moon)
  • Wednesday, August 21 (Full Moon)

Also, check out this video Sheepshead Bites made back in 2010, when the American Littoral Society’s Don Riepe showed us around the beach and the horseshoe crab’s mating practices. Yes, it has bifurcated penises.

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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Source: Daniel Hotaling via Facebook

Sheepshead Bites reader Andy Baum tipped us off to this beautiful and fascinating photograph of what is now Emmons Avenue and Knapp Street, an area once known as Hog Point Creek.

Taken in 1904, the photograph reveals the level of total commercial industrialization and development that has occurred in the area over the last century and change.

Daniel Hotaling, the guy who provided the photograph, gave some interesting information on Facebook as to what exactly we are looking at.

So it is basically looking down Knapp St towards Ave U from Plumb Beach. The cedar groves in the upper left hand corner were behind the sewage treatment plant on Knapp St. They were known as the cedars; my grandfather was born in the cedars 1905.

Great stuff, Daniel. If you, or anybody else, has any more wonderful historical pictures of the area, please send them to nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com!

Photo Provided By Bay Improvement Group

Coney Island Hospital’s Mobile Medical Unit is back on Emmons Avenue, this time near Nostrand Avenue in front of the Best Western Hotel, providing free flu shots, tetanus shots, respiratory checks and more.

The van will be there until 5 p.m. today, and returns tomorrow, Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Source: Google Maps

A man’s body was found floating under a dock in Plumb Beach Channel, between Gerritsen Beach and Sheepshead Bay, according to multiple reports.

While the man was not immediately identified, details emerged that he was 74 years old and that he lived in a house boat. He was found near 84 Ebony Court, between Channel Avenue and Bijou Avenue.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene, and while the results of the death are not yet known, police do not suspect any criminality. The medical examiner will determine a cause of death.

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