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Montauk beach project will begin later this month, says Rep. Lee Zeldin

Erosion from ocean waves caused by a blizzard

Erosion from ocean waves caused by a blizzard in front of the Royal Atlantic Beach Resort on South Emerson Avenue in Montauk, Jan. 28, 2015. Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Work on an $8.4 million beach renourishment project for downtown Montauk is expected to start later this month after winter storm-related delays, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) said Sunday.

Zeldin announced that H & L Construction was selected Friday by the Army Corps of Engineers to complete the dune protection project after submitting the lowest bid for the project, which calls for burying thousands of geotextile sandbags along 3,100 feet of beach.

The project, proposed in August by the Corps, aims to fortify oceanfront hotels and protect homes against storms, after years of erosion that worsened following superstorm Sandy in October 2012.

"This project is essential to the East End and I will continue to monitor the progress of this project to make sure it is completed," Zeldin said.

Work on the shoreline protection project was initially slated to start in January but federal officials postponed work in response to erosion caused by a nor'easter storm in early December.

Corps officials have said the delayed start likely means the project won't be completed by Memorial Day, which marks the start of the busy summer tourism season, though there have been discussions between the Corps and East Hampton Town officials about halting work for the summer and resuming it after Labor Day.

Corps officials could not be reached for comment Sunday.

The downtown Montauk project is part of a broader Fire Island to Montauk Point flood protection plan the Corps is developing.

East Hampton Town Supervisor Larry Cantwell said "the emergency beach stabilization project is a critical first step in protecting downtown Montauk and our local economy short term. The Fire Island to Montauk Point Plan must follow quickly to provide the long term protection necessary for Montauk."

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