For the first time since the Superstorm Sandy, the full Rockaway Boardwalk will finally be opened, just in time for Independence Day.
The Parks Department announced Wednesday that Rockaway Beach visitors will be able to travel across a continuous connection spanning 5.5 miles from Beach Ninth to Beach 126th streets starting Saturday, July 2. Those in the mood for a dip in the water can swim under lifeguard supervision as well.
“Because our waterfront parks are our first line of defense against the effects of climate change, as well as a breathtaking public amenity for New Yorkers to experience, we have built back stronger and smarter, setting a new standard for shoreline protection,” Parks Commissioner Mitchell J Silver said in a press release issued Wednesday.
Reconstruction of the new boardwalk began in April of 2014 and sets a new global standard for shoreline design. The project features a multi-layered system of coastal protection that will resist future weather events and help curb the long-term effects of climate change. A steel-reinforced concrete deck, fixed to steel pipe support pillars, will elevate the boardwalk above the current 100-year flood-plain.
Six miles of planted dunes and a concrete wall were also added near the boardwalk to keep the beach’s sand in place and to prevent it from entering the streets. Visitors of Rockaway Boardwalk can also expect to walk down brightly colored ramps and ride bicycles down a new designated bike lane.
These new additions were thought of during a series of collaborative design sessions between the Parks Department and Rockaway residents.
The full Rockaway Boardwalk is now open, but additional construction needs to be completed between Beach 19th and Beach 39th streets. This section is currently open and intact due to repairs made immediately after Hurricane Sandy. The overall reconstruction of the boardwalk is expected by the Parks Department to be completed by Memorial Day 2017.
Rockaway Beach is the largest beach in New York City, attracting millions of visitors each year. Numerous food and drink options are available up and down the boardwalk. Concessions are reasonably priced and feature worldly themes including Peruvian, Bolivian, Caribbean and Central Asian fare.