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West Hampton Dunes beach renourishment project on track for December completion

Homes along Dune Road in West Hampton Dunes

Homes along Dune Road in West Hampton Dunes on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. Credit: Veronique Louis

A U.S. Army Corps project to renourish the ocean beach in West Hampton Dunes is on track for completion around the end of December, Corps and village officials said Thursday.

The $14.2 million project to pump about 1 million cubic yards of sand onto the beach began in early November, but has occasionally stopped due to weather, said West Hampton Dunes Mayor Gary Vegliante.

"It's really building the beach up nice," said Vegliante, whose village consists of about 300 beach houses on a narrow barrier island in Southampton Town. "If the weather holds up, it'll be good. If the weather doesn't hold up, it'll be a problem."

Illinois-based Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company was hired for the project, and the company has been using a boat to pump sand from the ocean floor, through a pipe and onto the beach for several weeks.

The Army Corps has agreed to maintain ocean beach of West Hampton Dunes from 1997 to 2027 as part of a legal settlement with village officials, who sued the Corps, Suffolk County and New York State over massive damage from storms in the early 1990s.

The Army Corps and state have spent $39 million over 18 years on four projects to modify stone groins and dump 6 million cubic yards of sand on the beach, according to figures provided by the Corps.

The projects have focused on West Hampton Dunes, but have also extended east into Westhampton Beach and west into Cupsogue Beach County Park.

Vegliante said the village board has recently discussed how to maintain the beach after the 30-year agreement with the Corps expires. He said options include creating a special taxing district to fund renourishment projects.

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