Barriers meant to protect beaches and shorelines in North Shore communities including Mount Sinai and Sound Beach — many of them damaged by superstorm Sandy — are being replaced or rebuilt by Brookhaven Town highway crews.
Workers are using improved techniques that should stem erosion and filter out sediment from storm water before it rushes back to Long Island Sound, Brookhaven Superintendent of Highways Dan Losquadro said. The new barriers are made from material that is stronger than that used in the old barriers, many of which were torn open by waves, tidal surges and debris caused by Sandy in October 2012.
“We’re making it better than what it was,” Losquadro said in an interview. “Anything we can do to minimize the discharge and treat the water that is going into Long Island Sound obviously is a benefit to the environment.”
Repairs have been completed at four beaches: Riverhead Drive and Woodhull Landing in Sound Beach, Landing Road in Miller Place and Sills Gully Beach in Shoreham.
Projects are underway or planned at Amagansett Drive in Sound Beach, Shore Road in Mount Sinai, Gully Landing Road Beach in Miller Place and three beaches in Rocky Point: Friendship Beach, Hagerman Landing Road and Hallock Landing Beach.
The total cost of the projects is about $10 million, Losquadro said. Much of the cost will be paid for by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or state grants, he said.
At Woodhull Landing in Sound Beach, town crews installed anti-erosion “gabion mattresses” and vinyl sheet pilings to replace “gabion basket” equipment that was damaged by Sandy. Gabion mattresses are considered more durable than baskets, officials said.
Crews also reinforced existing equipment that provides an access point to the beach for emergency vehicles. The $70,000 project will improve storm-water management and erosion control, officials said.
Town Councilwoman Jane Bonner, who represents Sound Beach, said in a statement that the improvements will help clean up the Long Island Sound.
“By continuing to protect our waterways from pollutants, we are preserving them for the generations that follow us,” she said in the statement.