Design, Construction Teams Announced for Rockaway Boardwalk Rebuilding
NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White and NYC Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball today announced that CH2M HILL has been officially awarded the contract to oversee the design of the new Rockaway boardwalk and Skanska has been selected to manage the boardwalk's construction. This follows a historic first phase of recovery in which more than 500,000 hours were invested repairing and restoring New York City's beaches.
Nearly 5 miles of the Rockaway Beach boardwalk, running from Beach 20th Street to Beach 126th Street, will be rebuilt as part of this project. The new boardwalk will be constructed with steel-reinforced concrete and elevated above the 100-year flood plain. A baffle wall will be incorporated into the design and the structure will be bolstered by sand berms planted with native grasses. After the design is completed and regulatory approvals received, boardwalk pre-construction work is expected to begin this winter.
"After the City's successful effort to reopen Rockaway Beach this past summer, we are now building a new boardwalk that will be stronger, more durable, more attractive and more resilient," said NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. "It will also improve upon the important transportation and recreation functions that the old boardwalk provided. I look forward to collaborating with NYCEDC, CH2M HILL, Skanska and the Rockaway community as this vital project moves forward."
"Since Hurricane Sandy, we have worked to help the communities most affected by the storm rebuild stronger and safer than before, and repairing the Rockaway Boardwalk, a neighborhood icon, is a key step forward in this effort," said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball. "By restoring the boardwalk to its former glory while making it more resilient, we are working to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy this vibrant neighborhood amenity."
As part of the development of the new boardwalk design, targeted community meetings were held across the Rockaway peninsula to allow the public to provide input and an opportunity to speak directly to the engineers, architects and landscape architects working on this project. During these meetings, community members were invited to participate in focus groups dedicated to coastal protection, boardwalk aesthetics, access, and recreation.
This project also conceives the master plan for the entire length of Rockaway Beach. The plan will contain improvements beyond the current boardwalk and coastal protection projects, including ways to increase access to the beach and improve surrounding parks and recreational facilities, and will be used to provide guidance for long-term work. The conceptual planning process is running concurrent with boardwalk design, with a final plan expected to be complete early next year.
"CH2M HILL is very pleased to apply our worldwide experience to designing an attractive, resilient boardwalk," said Jonathan Goldstick, CH2M HILL's Vice President managing the design team. "The design team, which includes The RBA Group and WXY Architecture + Urban Design, has been working closely with our client and the Rockaway community on new structures that respond to the community's needs while addressing the newest FEMA flood elevations and future sea level rise."
"Our company has helped build New York City for more than 100 years, reinforcing the city's infrastructure to keep the city moving and building up the city's parks and waterfronts to bring communities together," said Tom Webb, executive vice president and general manager of Skanska USA Building's Metro New York Office. "For us, every construction project is an opportunity to leave a lasting impact on a community for years to come, but it's an especially good feeling when you can be part of a project that you know will help an entire community get back on their feet and return to a sense of normalcy."
After Hurricane Sandy, wide-ranging work was done to ensure that all of New York City's damaged swimming beaches were repaired in time for their Memorial Day weekend opening. In Rockaway, this included debris removal and salvage operations, demolition work, repairs to damaged boardwalks, renovation of damaged buildings, replacement of buildings with elevated and storm-resistant models, creation of boardwalk islands around beach amenities, installation of ramps and stairs for beach access, implementation of shoreline protective measures, repairs to playgrounds and other recreational facilities adjacent to the beaches, environmental monitoring, and installation of utilities.
The first phase of work was completed under the direction of NYC Parks, in partnership with many agencies at the city, state and federal levels, including the NYC Department of Design and Construction and the US Army Corps of Engineers.
More information about the restoration of Rockaway Beach and rebuilding of the boardwalk, including upcoming community meetings and steps already taken to provide interim coastal protection, is available at nyc.gov/parks/beach-recovery.