Pictured Above: County workers moved sand on Dune Road in November | photo courtesy Southampton Town

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is opening a solicitation of bids this morning for a new West of Shinnecock Inlet Dune Road Project to replenish sand along the oceanfront there, where Southampton Town and Suffolk County workers have been struggling to prevent a breach through the barrier island into Shinnecock Bay after several storms in the fall of 2019.

The project will include the placement of approximately 600,000 to 800,000 cubic yards of sand to restore this area to its 2005 authorization level, a better, more robust outcome than simply restoring this area to its recent 2019 pre-storm level, according to East End Congressman Lee Zeldin, who announced the bid solicitation earlier this week. The work could begin by the end of January.

“This is an urgent situation along Dune Road affecting our community’s small businesses and jobs, and I am encouraged that the Army Corps is doing everything in its power within federal law to respond quickly and effectively to this urgent matter,” said Mr. Zeldin. “The Army Corps has even sped up the bid process, which significantly reduces the timeline for bidding and start of construction. This week’s progress is continued good news for our local economy and the restaurants and other businesses, including the second largest commercial fishing dock in New York, that operate in the affected area.”

“I’m grateful to Colonel Asbery and his team at the Army Corps for their continued hard work and partnership on this project and all across our beautiful district,” he added.

Congressman Lee Zeldin met with Suffolk County Department of Public Works Chief Engineer Bill Hillman at the damaged site in late November.

Mr. Zeldin and Suffolk County Department of Public Works Chief Engineer William Hillman visited the site together in late November of 2019, in the midst of four storm-related emergency declarations for the area declared by Southampton Town in the midst of several severe storms.

Mr. Zeldin and his office had been in frequent contact with the Army Corps regarding the county’s reimbursement request for prior and ongoing work on Dune Road, and last year worked to get $12 million in funding for an emergency dredge of Moriches Inlet following a series of nor’easters that left the inlet unnavigable.

Suffolk County is also planning to use 90,000 cubic yards of sand from a planned dredging project of the navigation channel adjacent to the damaged area to help shore up the beach.

More details on the Army Corps project are online here.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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