With spring just around the corner, emergency repairs have begun on a shoreline Brooklyn bike path destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
Bikers have to come to a stop as they try to ride along the Shore Parkway promenade. That's because sections of the 2.5-mile stretch have roadway caved in, concrete slabs tossed about and metal fences torn apart. Now, emergency repairs are underway.
"It's good to see that they're finally working on it, because it's terrible that we don't have this path," said Dennis Monsen, a Bay Ridge resident.
Just this week, the Department of Parks and Recreation awarded the nearly $2 million job to a Queens contractor. Work includes fixing seawall caps, pavement and benches, and removing debris.
"We're putting up a construction fence to allow the public basically a six-foot area to walk through, which is going to be covered with temporary asphalt and make it a lot safer for them," said Bill Simpson, the project supervosor. "They won't be exposed to falling into the ocean over here, or they won't be subject to trip hazards."
Hurricane Sandy breached about 10 locations along the promenade when its surge came over the seawall. While these repairs will soon make the pathway safer for residents, community leaders warned that this is only a quick fix. They said that a permanent solution is needed.
"Right now, this is a temporary fix," said State Senator Marty Golden of Brooklyn. "This has been temporarily fixed now about 10 times. It's time to stop with the temporary fix before people really get injured and hurt and killed on this Belt Parkway."
"What we're seeing now after every storm, we're getting significant damage here, and the Belt Parkway is flooding out," said Marnee Elias-Pavia, district manager of Community Board 11. "And basically, emergency services can't use that area."
They're calling for a rebuilt seawall that could withstand future storms.
"Everything was underwater," Elias-Pavia said. "We need to protect our streets and our neighborhood."
"This is a disaster, from all the way down by the Verrazano Bridge, all the way up," Golden said.
The emergency repair work is expected to be completed by Memorial Day weekend.