Thursday, March 13, 2014

Schumer throws weight behind expedited Boardwalk for Rockaway




SCHUMER VOWS SUPPORT FOR ROCKAWAY BOARDWALK

Hurricane Sandy destroyed the famous Rockaway boardwalk, tossing pieces of the structure as though they were toothpicks during the storm. The city aims to rebuild the boardwalk by 2017, but residents are crossing their fingers for a date closer to the present. File photo
Hurricane Sandy destroyed the famous Rockaway boardwalk, tossing pieces of the structure as though they were toothpicks during the storm. The city aims to rebuild the boardwalk by 2017, but residents are crossing their fingers for a date closer to the present. File photo
While city officials have said they don’t expect the Rockaway boardwalk to be fully rebuilt until 2017, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said this week he hopes to work on a date more compatible with the hopes of Queens residents.
“I’m going to work to get a boardwalk as quickly as possible,” Schumer said during a press conference about flood insurance in Belle Harbor Monday.
The federal lawmaker isn’t the only one to throw his weight behind hurrying up the rebuilding process for the boardwalk – a Queens icon that ran 5.5 miles from Beach 9th Street in Far Rockaway to Beach 126th Street in Rockaway Park, at the edge of Belle Harbor. Completed in the 1930s – though pieces of it had been open since the 1800s – the boardwalk boasted everything from restaurants and bars to access to more serene beach areas. Borough President Melinda Katz also recently said she aims to have the boardwalk soon reopened.
“She saw no reason why the Rockaway boardwalk should not be fully repaired before the city’s current 2017 date,” a press release from Katz’s office said.
The city Parks Department issued its proposals for the rebuilt boardwalk in January, including a plan to feature huge letters spelling out the word “Rockaway” along the length of the site – something, Rockaway leaders said, that would be reminiscent of California’s “Hollywood” sign.
The first phase of the rebuilding, which began this spring and goes from Beach 86th Street to Beach 97th, is expected to wrap up around Memorial Day 2015. The entire $250 million project, which will stretch from Beach 19th to Beach 126th streets, is not slated to be finished until Memorial Day 2017, according to the Parks Department.
By Anna Gustafson

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