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Long Beach OKs redesign of storm protection plan

Long Beach city officials approved a redesign of

Long Beach city officials approved a redesign of a $20.5 million storm-protection plan for the city's northern shore to shield its water-treatment plant and infrastructure. Nov. 6, 2016 Credit: Steve Pfost

Long Beach city officials have approved the redesign of a $20.5 million storm-protection plan for the city’s northern shore to shield its water-treatment plant and infrastructure.

City Council members voted unanimously Nov. 1 to pay Woodbury-based D & B Engineers and Architects $558,000 to redesign plans to reroute 1,800 linear feet of planned bulkheads along Reynolds Channel.

The redesign comes after the Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Environmental Conservation advised city officials to expand their storm protection plans from the bayfront and the North Park neighborhood.

It is the second bulkheading project planned by the city to add flood protection to the entire northern side of the city’s bayfront over the next two years.

Redesigned plans to add improvements around the city’s wastewater treatment plant, water purification plant, and gas and electrical substations will raise the project’s cost from $13 million, and the project will be paid for with state and federal emergency funds, according to the city’s resolution.

The redesign also will feature a pumping system to pump water out of streets and into the channels and bay, over the bulkheads.

The city’s infrastructure on the bay side of the barrier island sustained flood damage during superstorm Sandy.

“We are all impatient to move these projects decades and decades in the making as fast as possible,” Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman said. “We are cognizant that we have to go through the state and federal process.”

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo initially secured $13 million for the city’s infrastructure protection measures in 2013.

The additional recovery money to cover the redesign will be allocated to the city from hazard-mitigation funds managed by the state, which coordinates federal emergency funding.

The city began the redesigns with federal input and with an eye to meeting the needs of the Long Island Rail Road, which has a branch in Long Beach. A portion of the bulkheads are planned on LIRR property.

The redesigned plans are expected to be completed early next year, after which the city will submit them for state approval. The plans are due to the Federal Emergency Management Agency in June, and construction on the infrastructure bulkheads is planned to begin late next year.

In addition, Long Beach officials are planning a companion $12.8 million bulkhead project for the remainder of the northern shore near homes in the canal streets on the East End, spanning to protect businesses and homes on the West End.

The state Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery had approved the city’s application to fully fund the project, after the city did an evaluation in 2013 of northern shore bulkheads.

The bulkheads are designed to prevent flooding and contamination from storm water that chronically floods certain neighborhoods during heavy rain and high tides.

City public-works officials plan to have the design for those bulkheads done early next year. That will be followed by a public meeting and review by the DEC. Construction could start by the end of next year.

Long Beach bulkheading projects

  • $12.8 million in bulkheads for homes and businesses spanning from the canal streets to the West End.
  • $20.5 million in bulkheads to shield the city’s infrastructure, such as water-treatment and power substations in the North Park area.

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