TODAY'S PAPER
Good Morning
Good Morning
NewsHealthCoronavirus

State approves closure of Long Beach boardwalk

The boardwalk in Long Beach is closed indefinitely.

The boardwalk in Long Beach is closed indefinitely. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

The New York State Department of Health retroactively approved the closure of the Long Beach boardwalk this week, prompting a Long Beach attorney to withdraw his lawsuit seeking to lift a shutdown of the boardwalk.

Long Beach city officials closed the boardwalk indefinitely on March 26 over worries during the COVID-19 pandemic of overcrowding on the city’s 2.2-mile beachfront walkway.

State health officials notified interim City Manager Donna Gayden Sunday that the city’s emergency order was approved. City officials said the boardwalk will remain closed as long as public health is a concern and the city’s local emergency order is in place.

“We are pleased the plaintiffs have dropped their suit,” city officials said in a statement Wednesday. “We will continue to do everything possible to protect the health and safety of our residents.”

Officials also said they were monitoring crowds throughout the city and increasing police enforcement of social distancing on streets, near the beach and at local businesses.

Long Beach attorney Frank McQuade, who previously ran for Nassau County district attorney, filed a lawsuit Friday arguing the boardwalk should be reopened because the city failed to seek approval from the department of health at least 24 hours before the closure. McQuade also argued the city created a separate crisis by forcing residents to clog streets, sidewalks and beach access points.

McQuade and his Long Beach-based attorney, Scott Cohen, had said they would withdraw the challenge after the state’s order issued Sunday. McQuade said the suit wasn’t only aimed at reopening the boardwalk, but to protect civil liberties and follow state law.

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

“The Long Beach City Council took the steps required by due process and law to legally close the Boardwalk. I commend them for acting reasonably and responsibly, as I fully knew they would do,” McQuade said in a statement Wednesday. "The case was amicably settled with minor tweaking of the legal requirements to properly close the Boardwalk, which took mere days to resolve after the suit was filed. Reopening the Boardwalk was never even the prime goal of the suit, much less the only goal.”

Long Beach had 386 positive coronavirus cases as of Tuesday, according to Nassau health officials. City officials were concerned that the boardwalk could serve as an infection point as people looked to go outside for exercise during warmer weather.

The beach remains open, although the city’s beach season doesn’t begin until Memorial Day, when beach passes are required and lifeguards will be on duty. The beach cannot be accessed from the boardwalk, but there are about 16 access points extending from end streets, such as New York Avenue, Pacific Boulevard and along the West End. 

A note to our community:

As a public service, this article is available for all. Newsday readers support our strong local journalism by subscribing.  Please show you value this important work by becoming a subscriber now.

SUBSCRIBE

Cancel anytime

Health