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Rockaways Residents, Lawmaker Call On City To Repair Destroyed Bay Wall

Assemblyman Goldfeder: 'This Is Not Complicated'
Bay wall in Arverne in the Rockaways, August 5, 2013. (credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

Bay wall in Arverne in the Rockaways, August 5, 2013. (credit: Alex Silverman/WCBS 880)

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Superstorm Sandy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Army Corps of Engineers will start building Rockaway Beach back up this week with a dune replenishment project.

But people who live on the peninsula’s bay side say they’re in danger and no one’s doing anything about it.

Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder on Monday called on the city to provide immediate funding to repair the bulkhead on the border of the Rockaway Peninsula and Jamaica Bay.

The end of Beach 69th Street has already fallen into the water. The old wooden bay wall was like swiss cheese even before superstorm Sandy, WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman reported.

“I’m looking out 2 o’clock in the morning when it’s raining. I’m thinking ‘is my house going to collapse?’” Arverne homeowner Jennifer Phanton told Silverman. “It’s very, very scary.”

“That pushed it over the edge. But now with every high tide, the erosion gets worse and worse,” Cliff Russell told Silverman.

His wheelchair-bound father can’t use the house’s back entrance when the water is high.

Russell’s wife said she’s called 311 only to be told there’s nothing more to be done.

“The city has got to address the bulkhead issues,” Goldfeder told Silverman. “This is not complicated.”

Goldfeder said it’s time to make up for decades of neglect and to offer protection for the future.

“From the east end of Rockaway all the way to the west end of Rockaway,” he told Silverman.

On Sunday, Sen. Charles Schumer announced the Army Corps will begin phase one of a project to eventually pump three million cubic yards of sand between Beach 19th Street and Beach 149th Street.

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