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Parks Department Releases Plan To Rebuild Parts Of Rockaway Beach Boardwalk

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TWC News: Parks Department Releases Plan To Rebuild Parts Of Rockaway Beach Boardwalk
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The Parks Department announced Tuesday it will rebuild three sections of the Boardwalk in the Rockaways in time for summer. NY1's Michael Herzenberg has the story.

The Parks Department calls its three stages of recovery Clean Up, Safe Up and Open Up. They plan to complete these stages by Memorial Day.

Hurricane Sandy took out the Rockaway Boardwalk from 88th Street to 126th Street, but the city plans to have three sections -- which it calls islands -- rebuilt in time for the start of summer.

They would center around three severely damaged buildings, each nine blocks apart, which the parks Department will repair.

The plan got a positive response at Community Board 14's meeting Tuesday night.

"I think they're trying to do the best they can for us and I was very impressed that they're trying to get us up and running for the summer season," one meeting attendee said.

In addition to the three buildings and soon to be boardwalk islands at 86th, 97th and 106th Streets, builders will add bathrooms and lifeguard stands at 116th Street.

"We're doing our best efforts to create various areas so the public can still use the beach," Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewadowski said. "We'll have bathrooms and comfort areas as well as concessions."

In the public comment period after the Parks Department presentation, most seemed pleased.

But not everyone agreed.

The Parks Department says it's still working on a timeline for a complete boardwalk rebuild, but that's not likely to happen even by the summer of 2014.

"This can be done tomorrow. Run one road down one side of the boardwalk, one road down the other side, fill the middle in. Now we have a protective barrier to protect us," one man said at the meeting.

Lewadowski told the crowd that the city is cleaning and returning washed away sand as well as buying new sand to help repair the beach, but they need community input moving forward. With this the crowd concurred.

"We need everybody to really get involved here," a man said at the meeting. "This is our community."

There is also concern about beach repair, jettis and storm damage prevention. The Army Corps of Engineers will address those issues at next month's meeting.

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