New walkways for Long Beach's dunes to be completed this summer

This is a view of the Long Beach This is a view of the Long Beach dunes looking west from Pennsylvania Ave in Long Beach March 5, 2014. Long Beach's rebuilt dunes will be passable for beach-goers this summer. The city awarded a $4M contract to rebuild 19 dune walkovers, all of which had been destroyed by Sandy. Photo Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

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The rebuilt dunes in Long Beach's east and west ends will be passable for beachgoers this summer, say city officials who have awarded a contract for new dune walk-overs.

The 19 walk-overs, which are wooden walkways that allow pedestrians to cross over a dune, replace the ones superstorm Sandy destroyed, officials said.

The City Council voted Tuesday night to pay Great Neck-based Galvin Brothers $4.135 million to build the walk-overs.

The firm expects to finish by mid-July, city officials said. The city is paying for the project with Federal Emergency Management Agency money.

"It will allow better, reliable and more safe access over our dune area," City Council president Scott Mandel said.

The walk-overs will allow access over dunes in the east and west ends of the city. Sandy also wiped out the dunes, but the city has repaired them, officials said.

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Thirteen walkways will be located between Nevada Avenue and New York Avenue in the west, and six will be between Neptune Boulevard and Pacific Boulevard in the east, officials said. All but one will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, they said.

The rebuilt dunes will eventually connect with a $178 million dune project the Army Corps of Engineers has planned for Long Beach, public works Commissioner Jim LaCarrubba said.

That project, which would be paid for by the federal government, would be a system of dunes, berms and groins -- structures that jut from the shoreline -- to protect Long Beach, Lido Beach and Point Lookout, Army Corps officials have said. It includes two dune walk-overs in the East End and 14 in the center of the beach, LaCarrubba said.

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The Army Corp and state Department of Environmental Conservation are expected to present the plan to residents at Long Beach City Hall at 6 tonight.

"It's supposed to be one continuous dune," LaCarrubba said.

FEMA spokesman Mike Meenan said Long Beach will have to request more money for the project from state and FEMA officials if the project's cost exceeds estimates.

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