By Bill Parry
For the first time since it was devastated during Hurricane Sandy, the full Rockaway Boardwalk will be open this weekend, including the final section from Beach 117th Street to Beach 126th Street. Beachgoers and cyclists will be able to enjoy a continuous connection spanning from Beach 9th Street to Beach 126th Street.
“The reopening of the entire 5.5 mile Rockaway Boardwalk is a major milestone for the Rockaway community and for all New Yorkers,” City Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver said.
The new boardwalk, which began construction in April 2014, will set a global standard for resilient shoreline design, while providing the Rockaway community with a beautiful, functional beachfront, according to officials. The project is being integrated into a multi-layered system of coastal protection that will resist future weather events.
It is constructed with a steel-reinforced concrete deck, fixed to steel pipe support piles that elevate it above the 100-year flood plain. Much of the new boardwalk’s appearance — including its sand-colored decking, brightly colored ramps and designated bike lane — was decided during a series of collaborative design sessions with Rockaway residents.
“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,” Silver said.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr