Long Beach Jetty Contractor Selected for Rockaway Project

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 The jetties are coming! The U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s (USACE) bid process for contactors to install Rockaway’s groins, has come to an end, and USACE is expected to award the contract to the same company that completed Long Beach’s groin project in recent years.

After opening the bid process in late February, USACE received offers from eight contractors. According to Robby Schwach of Councilman Eric Ulrich’s office, the lowest bid came in from H & L Contracting, at just over $114 million. The Army Corps has estimated this project to cost as much at $250M. Some of the other bids included Weeks Marine ($140 M), Michels ($137 M), and Kiewit ($168.5 M). H & L Contracting has worked on a few big beach projects around New York including Long Beach’s groin project and erosion control in Coney Island. An official announcement has not yet been made about the contractor selection, but USACE has confirmed.

According to Schwach, the project can start within a few weeks, however an exact start date is up in the air, as it will take time for the company to mobilize equipment, personnel and the stones to build the new groins.

Schwach says the 14 new groins (referred to as jetties by locals) will be built starting in the west end, at Beach 145, Beach 140, Beach 135, Beach 130, Beach 125, Beach 120, Beach 115, Beach 110, Beach 105, Beach 102, Beach 98 and Beach 92, with the other two much further east (Beach 52 and Beach 32). There are plans to remove or cut down some, if not all, of the existing wooden jetties. Four existing rock groins, including one at Beach 149, will be rehabilitated and extended.

Schwach adds that work will take place Mondays through Fridays for eight and a half hours a day. An estimated 724 million pounds of rock will be used for this project. If the beaches are not closed this summer, closures for the project will only take place around the direct areas where work is taking place for safety reasons. Truck routes on the beach will be fenced off with "flaggers” at intersections to allow beach-goers to access the beach. Trucks can access the beach at Beach 9th, Beach 108th, and Beach 116th as well as Beach 126th and Beach 142nd, where the current dune and baffle walls will be removed temporarily and then rebuilt. No construction will take place from beach 90th to Beach 105th between Memorial Day and Labor Day unless permitted by the Parks Dept. No construction will take place from Beach 6th to Beach 85th Street until after September 1, when the piping plovers are done nesting for the season. Each groin could take up to three months to build, and the bid includes a provision that the contract should be completed within four years.

USACE confirmed most of this information, however, they added that the order of the work is not definite yet and will be at the discretion of the contractor. For instance, the contractor could decide to utilize the summer to start stockpiling rock and start with the east groin field sometime in the fall, after the piping plovers leave.

Note that this contract does not include the construction of the reinforced dune from Beach 6th to Beach 149th and sand restoration.

 By Katie McFadden

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