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Jones Inlet repairs to begin in September

Less than a month after Sen. Charles Schumer called on two federal agencies to speed repair of Sandy-damaged Jones Inlet, work to make the waterway safer for boaters is set to begin.

The work will begin by September, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers said in a letter Monday to Schumer's office.

The Coast Guard also announced that a temporary lighted buoy would be added near the jetty until a permanent structure is completed. It is slated to be in place by Thursday.

"The Coast Guard and Army Corps have quickly agreed to our request to speed up the construction of the replacement navigation equipment and, on the behalf of myself and Long Island boaters, I thank them for their quick action," Schumer said in a news release.

Superstorm Sandy dislodged the jetty rocks and destroyed a light tower used by boaters to navigate the inlet, which boaters said was already hazardous to navigate at night and during inclement weather.

The inlet connects southern Long Island to the Atlantic Ocean.

The Coast Guard, which manages the navigational tower, and the Army Corps, which manages the jetty rocks, had originally scheduled repairs for fiscal year 2014.

At a July 8 news conference at Jones Beach, Schumer (D-N.Y.) was joined by local boaters and fisherman who wanted the work to be completed sooner.

"It's beautiful now but at night it's dark and foggy," said Frank Pryz, a pleasure fisherman from Amityville at the news conference. "It's more scary and you can't see where the jetty is now."

The Army Corps will advertise the jetty repair in the next two weeks so a contractor can be selected to do the work.

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