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Saltaire receives $2.5M to restore village walkway

Saltaire village officials said the money will go

Saltaire village officials said the money will go toward fixing the Lighthouse Promenade.  Credit: Newsday/Rachelle Blidner

Saltaire will receive $2.5 million toward reconstruction of the a village walkway that was damaged by superstorm Sandy, federal officials announced Wednesday.

Lighthouse Promenade, which has been under construction since the fall, is an essential part of an emergency evacuation route on Fire Island, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said in a news release.

Village officials began reconstructing the promenade last fall as they waited to find out how much of the cost would be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

After much village debate, the village board voted to use timber instead of concrete in the reconstruction, a material that is more expensive upfront but will save in the long run with maintenance costs and flooding resiliency, Mayor John A. Zaccaro Jr. said.

Federal officials said the grant will fund 90 percent of the flood mitigation portion of the project’s $2.8 million cost.

The village board in July approved a $5.4 million contract for the reconstruction of Lighthouse Promenade and Beacon Walk, including replacing the lighthouse water main, with Chesterfield Associates.

The grant will allow “us to do improvements we wouldn’t have been able to afford,” including installing more fire hydrants and upgrading the timber design, Zaccaro said.

 “We’ve been looking at a lot of ways to spend our money to rebuild our infrastructure to withstand another Sandy,” Zaccaro said.

Village officials are also in the process of raising village hall and the arts and crafts building. All other village walkways have been replaced with timber, which will stay in place better during flooding, he said.

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