Douglas Oakland hopes a proposal to raise Dune Road in Southampton wins approval by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
He owns a restaurant near Shinnecock Inlet and remembers what happened a year ago when superstorm Sandy came through, washing sand from the ocean across Dune Road and over his elevated parking lot.
“The parking lot was full of sand. It took us five days to dig out,” he said. “It could happen again.”
Oakland played host on Friday to a group of state, federal and local officials who want the federal government to pay an estimated $8 million to raise Dune Road between 16 and 20 inches along a five-mile stretch from Shinnecock Inlet to the section of the road in the village of Quogue.
Raising the road, they say, would provide an extra measure of protection from ocean storm surges and keep nor’easters and other storms from flooding the road and making it impassible for days or weeks.
Congressman Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) told the group that a decision on a request to raise the road — proposed by him and Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) — should be made by the Corps in two or three months.
Southampton Town officials said the preliminary engineering and design work needed to raise the road has been done, and that the project was “shovel ready” if the Corps of Engineers agrees to fund it. They said the road elevation work could be completed before next Summer.