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Dec 5, 2016 4:49 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Army Corps Crews Return To Montauk This Week To Repair Beach Wall On Oceanfront

Sandbags exposed by erosion of the artificial dune covering the revetment constructed along the Montauk beachfront last winter by the Army Corps of Engineers. Michael Wright
Dec 7, 2016 10:33 AM

Contractors for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will return to Montauk this week to begin to restore the artificial dune above a sandbag revetment along the downtown oceanfront.

The contractors will restore the dune, beachgrass and sand fencing to the same condition as when the project was originally completed in April, and before storm waves from the passing remnants of Hurricane Hermine scoured away tons of sand and materials over Labor Day weekend.

The eastern end of the 3,100-foot revetment and dune took a beating from Matthew’s waves, eroding dozens of feet of the sand berm, planted beachgrass and protective fencing, and uncovering the sandbags buried beneath.

The worst damage occurred in front of the Royal Atlantic hotel, where the bags were exposed and the artificial dune was left as a steep cliff of sand. The exposed sandbags have since re-covered with sand naturally, and the artificial dune has not suffered any major further erosion. However, it will still require a large volume of trucked-in sand to restore it to its original profile.

The restoration work will take three to four weeks, East Hampton Town Assistant to the Supervisor Alex Walter said following a conversation on Monday with the project’s manager, Mike Alessi of H&L Contracting, the Bay Shore engineering firm that is conducting the work on behalf of the Army Corps. He said the H&L crews would begin work in the middle of this week.

“He thought most of the damage was just right in front of the Royal Atlantic, I guess because that’s what everyone has been talking about, the exposed sandbags, but there’s a lot gone as you go around the corner toward Atlantic Terrace, too,” Mr. Walter said of his conversation with the project manager. “There’s some beachgrass and fencing to replace up there.”

The restoration work will be paid for by the Army Corps, since the project had not been officially handed over to the town when the damage occurred, as the contractors were still working on some “punch list” items, Mr. Walter said, regarding walkways over the berm and drainage.

Once the project is deemed complete by the Army Corps and state officials, responsibility for repairs to the artificial dune will fall, in most cases, to East Hampton Town and Suffolk County. The annual costs of maintaining the sand berm were estimated at about $150,000 during the planning, though the repairs this time around are certain to cost far in excess of that, town officials have acknowledged.

The project cost the Army Corps some $9 million, took nearly six months to complete—after delays caused by storms and a lawsuit by environmentalists opposed to the project—and required more than 150,000 tons of trucked-in sand to cover the 13,000-plus sandbags.

The project was the subject of weeks of protests by Montauk residents last November, a dozen of whom were arrested for blocking bulldozers over several days.

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DON'T waste the money..move the hotels back and let the beach repair itself!
By sandydog21 (195), Southampton on Dec 5, 16 7:52 PM
3 members liked this comment
Move them back to where??? There is no room to move them back and they are not hotels. All of the units in the "hotels" are individually owned co-ops.
By mtkfishman (76), montauk on Dec 8, 16 1:38 PM