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LI Coast Guard stations get storm-resistant upgrades

U.S. Coast Guard stations in Freeport and Hampton Bays are getting multimillion-dollar post-superstorm Sandy repairs that will help them withstand powerful storms, officials said.

Dredging and upgrades for breakwaters and bulkheads are planned for both stations, which serve as bases for search and rescue and other operations.

"We're trying to rebuild more resilient structures to protect against future storms," said Gerry Gosselin, head of the design team for the Freeport overhaul.

The $5.5 million project will enable the floating docks to better withstand storm surges, raise the bulkhead 2 feet and encase its front in steel.

The steel "protects the base so that we don't get heavy wave action at our station," said Gosselin, who noted that the station nearly flooded when Sandy struck in October 2012.

The boat basin and small channel will also be dredged at a cost of almost $600,000.

The work began June 1 and is expected to finish about Nov. 27. The station, originally built in 1851, covers the area from East Rockaway Inlet to Gilgo Beach, including Jones Inlet and southern Nassau County's back bays, said Lt. Joe Smith.

The $13 million Hampton Bays project includes repairing a boat ramp, repaving the parking lot and fixing the bulkhead and piers damaged by Sandy, said Lt. Cmdr. Kelvin Davis.

"We decided that it was time to improve the stability of the pier," Davis said. "We're getting rid of some of the old bulkhead, which is deteriorated."

The superstorm also highlighted the need to make the station, whose basement flooded, more storm-resilient.

Initial work began in March. Construction should finish in mid-January 2016, Davis said.

The station, which dates to 1855, covers an area including Peconic, Shinnecock and Moriches bays.

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