Islip officials are about to enter the final phase of a multimillion-dollar bulkhead rehabilitation project that will repair and restore the aging infrastructure.
Officials said the final phase will allow them to complete long-awaited work on the Bay Shore Marina.
Phases one to three of the project were conducted from 2006 to 2010. Town officials had planned to start the final phase of work in 2011-2012, but the effort was delayed after damage from Hurricane Irene and superstorm Sandy forced town funds to be diverted to other marina repairs.
“Because of the neglect over the years, there are slips that are not even able to be accessed,” Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said. “With this last phase we will finally be able to access all of them.”
The town secured funds for phase four in November, bonding $4.25 million for the final stage of the project. The restoration will be put out for bids this spring, with work beginning in November 2018 after boating season.
“People don’t always realize how important it is to protect infrastructrure,” Carpenter said. “The fact that we are a community with our entire southern border of the entire township on the water, makes it that much more important for us to pay attention to our marinas and waterfront.”
Phase four will replace 1,125 feet of bulkhead along Bay Shore, costing about $3.6 million, as well as repairs along Bayport-Hollman’s Creek, which will cost about $650,000. The scope of work will include a limited redesign of the western portion of the marina to better accommodate boaters.
The project will also raise the height of the bulkheads by about 2 feet to stave off future storm damage, officials said. The work will incorporate some spot dredging to remove backfill that has been falling into the marina from behind deteriorated bulkheads.
Thomas Owens, the commissioner of the town’s Department of Public Works, said the repairs are necessary to ensure the safety of residents who use the area, and that the problem is not unique to Islip.
“As a region we [on Long Island] all struggle with aging infrastructure in our marinas and our road endings,” he said. “All the water ends up at the lowest points, so all of those road ends, some of them bulkheads, are matured and ready to be rebuilt. That’s a struggle, monetarily, for the townships.”
Owens said protecting Islip’s shoreline assets will also be critical going forward to maintain the town’s AAA bond rating.
“As this fails — as in any marina in the Northeast, because of wave action — it eliminates slips and it eliminates revenue,” Owens said.
The first phase of the project repaired 1,100 feet of bulkheads at Benjamin Beach in the Bay Shore Marina. That was followed by phase two, when work was done on the Owen Johnson area of Bay Shore Marina
Phase three, completed in 2010, focused on the portion of the marina near Nicky’s On the Bay restaurant.
Officials said the project would benefit all residents of Islip.
“The Bay Shore Marina is the gateway to Fire Island,” Carpenter said. “It’s the people’s marina.”
Islip Bulkhead Restoration: By the Numbers
1,125 feet — span of the new repairs
$4.25 million — Total cost of final phase
2 feet — Increased elevation of bulkheads upon completion