Asharoken Village officials are once again attempting to replace its deteriorating sea wall on Asharoken Avenue, the only thoroughfare connecting the village to mainland Huntington.
Officials are applying for $1 million in FEMA grant funding, through the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program, for its Asharoken Seawall Resiliency Upgrade Project.
"The wall needs to be replaced," Village Mayor Greg Letica said Thursday. "The steel particularly is rusting significantly and there is a lot of erosion of the beach in front of the wall and because of that all of the rocks on the seaside of the wall are sinking and that’s leading to the failure of the steel; it’s reached its life span."
The money would go toward design and engineering work, Letica said. The Town of Huntington is the co-applicant at the request of village officials.
The 1,000-foot-long sea wall, built in 1994, helps keep Long Island Sound from inundating Asharoken Avenue. Village officials estimate the wall to be 10 to 12 feet high at low tide on the beach side and about 3 feet high on the roadside.
In 2016, village residents rejected a proposal to restore a 2.4-mile section of the beach — including a small section in front of the sea wall — using federal funds because of a mandate to allow public access to private beaches.
In 2019, village officials sent the Army Corps of Engineers a letter asking it create a Locally Preferred Project to analyze different types of durable sea wall design structures and the effectiveness of restoring a cobble beach and to consider elevating Asharoken Avenue in the sea wall area.
Letica said the Army Corps declined.
Last summer, Letica said, the village, in conjunction with the Town of Huntington, did some repair work including replacing rocks on the wall that had fallen off on the water side, but it continues to deteriorate.
"The Asharoken sea wall is dangerously close to failing," Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) said on Friday.
Suozzi said he has worked with the village and other elected officials over the years to get funding to help repair the sea wall. He said he would like to see the project fit into the recently passed massive infrastructure bill.
A representative from the Army Corps of Engineers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.