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Big Sand Dump Nears Its End

Wed, 02/21/2024 - 16:38
The easternmost portion of the Fire Island to Montauk Point beach reformulation project has benefited from recent favorable weather conditions, and its beach infill component may be completed by the end of next week.
Durell Godfrey

East Hampton Town’s portion of the federal Army Corps of Engineers’ Fire Island to Montauk Point beach nourishment project, which calls for the placement of 450,000 cubic yards of sand on downtown Montauk’s ocean beach, is nearing 70-percent completion this week, Councilman David Lys said on Tuesday.

The west-to-east movement of the sand that is being continually pumped onto the beach, from the Ellis Island suction hopper dredge offshore, has reached the vehicular overpass at the South Edison Street road end, Mr. Lys said. Beach infill could be completed by the end of next week. Demobilization will follow, as will sand placement on the beach and the planting of beach grass, the root systems of which are to stabilize the reconstructed beach.

“We were always anticipating about 20 days’ work,” Mr. Lys said. Weather conditions have been mostly conducive to continuous work, with few weather-related delays.

A 1,000-linear-foot safety zone that is off limits to the public has been extended to span the entirety of the downtown beach, Mr. Lys said last Thursday. The contractor, Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, “says that the public has been extremely respectful,” he said. “The town board wants to thank all the residents and town staff for working collectively to this point to inform the public and keep them safe.”

One point of concern is the four pedestrian crossovers, which Supervisor Kathee Burke-Gonzalez said last Thursday are “really unusable at this point, because they’ve taken quite a beating from Mother Nature.” The town is still seeking an answer from the Army Corps of Engineers and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation “as to how we move forward there,” she said.

Col. Alex Young, commander of the New York District of the Army Corps, made a site visit on Friday, Mr. Lys said, “but unfortunately we didn’t get any confirmation of anything else as far as the crossovers.”

“We will continue to press,” he said, “but we haven’t gotten a response for any additional work. But we’re trying.”



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