Lindenhurst Village Marina has been closed because of the devastation...

Lindenhurst Village Marina has been closed because of the devastation from Hurricane Irene. (March 8, 2012) Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

Shuttered for more than six months due to storm damage, the Lindenhurst Village marina is being repaired and is soon expected to reopen.

The Charles J. Cowan Marina on the southern tip of Wellwood Avenue suffered severe damage in last summer's Tropical Storm Irene, village officials said. Amid safety concerns, officials erected a chain-link fence around the perimeter, with a sign warning that the docks, boardwalks and parking areas were off-limits, said Village Administrator Clerk-Treasurer Shawn Cullinane.

The storm had ripped up entire sections of the boardwalk's wood planks, he said. It washed away support beams and left the southern edge of the parking lot dotted with foot-wide pools of sunken asphalt.

The southern and eastern sides of the boardwalk were hit hardest, officials said, while the western edge -- redone several years ago with fiberglass instead of wood -- suffered less.

Officials said that while some areas can be repaired, others have to be completely reconstructed. Cullinane estimates the village has spent tens of thousands of dollars in engineering and other services related to the work, and the total cost is expected to be between $450,000 to $650,000, he said.

Officials said they hope costs will be covered through insurance and funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But Cullinane said they hit a snag with FEMA when the agency mandated the repairs be made with the same materials used in the original construction. He said the village would prefer to use fiberglass instead of wood and is in talks with FEMA to see whether they would pay for the sturdier material.

"If we're replacing it, let's do it so that it'll last another 50 years," Village Mayor Thomas Brennan said. FEMA officials couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

Brennan said he intends to have the northern portion of the marina open within two weeks, allowing limited access for pedestrians and vehicles. He hopes to open the southern portion by summer.

The marina is a popular spot for fishing and crabbing and for those looking to stroll or eat while gazing out at the Great South Bay. Village officials said that since closing the spot, they have received many calls from upset residents.

"It's one of the great features of the village, and people miss it," said Cullinane.

Joe Rhodes, 64, of Copiague, said he is glad the marina will reopen, since the spot is part of his walking routine. "There's always a lot of people down here," he said. "People drive down and eat their lunch, and there's a lot of crabbing, too."

Latest videos