Babylon: Not enough sand to repair beaches by Memorial Day

Crews work on clearing sand off the eastbound Crews work on clearing sand off the eastbound Ocean Parkway at Gilgo Beach, where the roadway was turned into a beach by Sandy. (Nov. 1, 2012) Photo Credit: James Carbone

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A $22.5 million push is under way to rebuild before Memorial Day Babylon Town's parks, beaches, pools and docks damaged by superstorm Sandy, but town deputy supervisor Tony Martinez said Monday that ocean beaches depleted of sand might not get replenished until fall.

"We don't yet have a source for sand," he said, though "we are working feverishly" to finish repairs in the coming months.

"We are going to be open for business, and we're going to make it a comfortable place for people to enjoy their summers," he said. "People should not get discouraged from going to the beach."

Gilgo, Cedar and Overlook beaches lost a total of 200,000 cubic yards of sand in the October superstorm, Martinez said, and replacement could cost $10 million.

Martinez added that town officials were looking into the possibility of using sand dredged from the clogged Fire Island Inlet, which could be paid for using federal storm relief funds.

Work on town facilities started last week at Cedar Beach Marina, where a ruined boardwalk must be demolished and replaced, and bulkheading and electrical wiring must be repaired.

Repairs will start next week at Tanner Park in Copiague, where the fishing pier, boardwalk and spray facilities were all damaged.

Many of the town contracts include penalty clauses for work not finished by Memorial Day, a date Martinez said is fixed in his mind.

"I have an app on my phone that tells me how many days we have left," he said. "One hundred and eight days, 18 hours, 42 minutes and counting down," he said Monday afternoon.

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