Patchogue Village officials have awarded a nearly $1 million construction bid to replace an aging jetty at the Sandspit Park and Marina.
The project will consist of rebuilding the east jetty, which was constructed more than 60 years ago and has been severely damaged by storms, Mayor Paul Pontieri said. He added he wants the $1.1 million total project to improve boat safety and to keep parts of the Patchogue River from narrowing.
Sand is filtering through the jetty and entering the mouth of the Patchogue River, making it difficult to navigate, Pontieri said, adding he fears a boater may one day crash into the jetty that, in spots, has opened up rather than providing a continuous barrier of rocks.
“It’s become very dangerous on a couple of levels," Pontieri said. "There are problems with the navigational beacons. If you’re coming back at night, you can’t see the jetty during high tide because the water flows over it.”
Pontieri said he has discussed the jetty woes with Brookhaven Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine over the past few years. While the jetty was built in the waters off Patchogue, it's owned by the town.
Village board members adopted the resolution to award the work to Westhampton-based Chesterfield Associates Inc. on July 23. The company has an office in Patchogue.
Former board member William Hilton, now a village consultant for special projects, said the construction award bid came in at $941,290.
The project will be “a combination of all levels of government,” Pontieri said.
Patchogue is contributing $100,000 toward the project. Brookhaven Town is putting $300,000 toward the reconstruction while its community development agency has committed $110,000 for a fishing pier on top of the jetty, Patchouge officials said.
State Sen. Thomas Croci (R-Sayville) has secured a state $600,000 grant for the jetty and $50,000 for a lighthouse at the jetty.
The project is expected to start in November and will take roughly five months to complete, officials said. The work won't start sooner because the state Department of Environmental Conservation forbids construction during spawning season.
The Sandspit Marina is on Brightwood Street off Cedar Avenue, directly south of the Patchogue Long Island Rail Road Station. The park and marina, home to the David Park Ferry terminal, offers bayfront views, a fenced-in playground and shaded park benches.
Lifelong Patchogue resident Vincent Amodeo said he sits in his car at the marina every day watching the birds fly and the boats pass.
“I guess if it’s for boat safety to avoid an accident it’s a good idea,” Amodeo, 66, said of the jetty rebuilding project. “We don’t want anything bad to happen.”
He is usually accompanied by Robert Gordon, 66, another lifelong village resident.
“I knew a boater from a couple of years ago who had a hard time navigating his sailboat around the jetty,” Gordon said.