Restorations means Rockaway’s rocking


| tcullen@queenscourier.com |



Rockaway is rocking its way to a promising destination for beachgoers.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe ceremoniously cut the ribbon on Monday, August 6, at the completed $30 million restoration of areas of eastern Rockaway beach.

The restoration included a 15,700-square-foot skateboard park, handball and basketball courts, playgrounds, climbing wall, performance space, water play area, synthetic turf field and accessible comfort station, according to the mayor’s office.

“Rockaway Beach has been an iconic recreational destination for more than a century,” Benepe said. “Now, thanks to Mayor Bloomberg and PlaNYC, the Far Rockaway neighborhood has new parks, playgrounds and athletic facilities that make it like a mini Jones Beach for the 21st century.”

This is one of eight projects under PlaNYC, which works on making the city greener.

The mile-long span of beach was designed to accommodate the growing residential boom in the Rockaways, according to the mayor’s office. The renovations were also designed to withstand the effects of storms and waves.

Assemblymember Philip Goldfeder, who was present at the ribbon cutting, has also secured $8 million from the city to restore the bulkhead at Beach 108th Street in Far Rockaway.

“I thank Mayor Bloomberg for allocating the necessary funding to fix the bay wall,” Goldfeder said. “We cannot take chances on the safety and protection of Rockaway families, and I am glad the mayor heard our concerns.”

Goldfeder also noted that the same area had been restored five years ago, but was now eroding for undetermined reasons.

By restoring the wall, he said, it will help prevent flooding and bring more people and economic activity to the area.

“By revitalizing this site and repairing the deteriorated bulkhead, we can create a new economic engine to help put southern Queens and the Rockaways on track toward success,” Goldfeder said. “At the same time, through repairing part of the waterfront, we can shield the bay from contaminants and better protect the community from future flooding.”