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Group Rallies For A Full New Boardwalk In The Rockaways

Only 10 Percent Of Rockaway Beach Boardwalk Has Been Replaced, Protesters Say
Beach Community Hard Hit By Superstorm Sandy Continues To Recover

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A rally was held Sunday urging the New York City Parks Department to pick up the pace in replacing the Rockaway Beach boardwalk that was destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.

State Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Queens) was in attendance for the rally Sunday. Protesters said since the boardwalk between 86th Street and Beach 126th Street was destroyed, only 16 blocks have been replaced.

That amounts to only 10 percent, protesters said.

“When the hurricane hit, almost 85 percent of the people I represent were severely impacted by the storm, and we’re always looking for rays of hope for rebuildings, for grand openings; for some sign that our community is coming back,” Goldfeder told WCBS 880. “And while families are getting back into their homes, and businesses are starting to open their doors, city property is still stagnant.”

The group Friends of Rockaway Beach said there is no plan in place at all to restore the boardwalk, and no one has announced any future plans to do so.

“We’re seeing projects that are being done without any community input. The community is really coming together to send a strong message that we’re not going to be ignored,” Goldfeder said. “We want a say. We want our boardwalk back.”

But the city is going ahead with its own plans for the area without the community’s input, Goldfeder claimed.

“We hear from City Hall, what they’re going to be doing, but the people in the community are patient,” he said. “We want to make sure they’re done right, but we also want to have an involvement and a say in how it’s being done, and thus far we feel like we’ve been railroaded, in that somebody else has a plan and they’re just going to do exactly what they want on their timeline.”

They added there are also no plans for a seawall to protect the neighborhood, and with all the money the Federal Emergency Management Agency sent, the community believes it is not being heard about its desires.

Crews have been working to get a boardwalk in place at Rockaway Beach in time for the start of the summer.

Last month, the city was building modular lifeguard stands to replace the ones washed away by Sandy.

Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanaugh with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation said they’re trying to get life back on track at the beach by Memorial Day.

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