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Rockaways Residents: New Storm-Proof Bathrooms Are Falling Apart

City Officials Say The New Units Are A Work-In-Progress

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — After Sandy hundreds of supposedly hurricane-proof restrooms were installed along city beaches.

Now, neighbors said the new units have started to fall apart.

Railings held together by duct tape, shaky steps, plastic wraps, and rust marked the brand new bathrooms. Residents said the new facilities are not what they expected.

“It looks ugly. It looks like a freaking Sputnik,” Irene Riveria told CBS 2′s Janelle Burrell.

The elevated, modular, bathrooms and lifeguard stations were installed less than 6-months ago. Each unit cost $2-million and is supposed to strong enough to withstand another superstorm, but beachgoers and residents called them overpriced eyesores.

“It just seems like a waste,” Community Board 14 District Manager, Jonathan Gaska said.

Gaska told CBS 2 that he is mystified as to how the city could spend $105-million to install thirty-five units, and questioned their stability.

“they’ve only been here for a few months. They’re rusting. Some of them are falling aprt,” he said.

A walk along the beach revealed scaffolding and tarp held together by duct tape. Construction appears incomplete, but city officials did offer an explanation.

Officials admitted that there was a rush to get the prefabricated structures in place for Memorial Day.

“We wanted to be open Memorial Day. So, there are some temporary pieces in there. The ramps and stairs will be replaced by more permanent structures,” New York City Department of Design and Construction spokesman David  Burney said.

The units themselves are sound, and the duct tape will be removed after Labor Day, Burney said.

The Dept. of Design and Construction said that the “rust” is not rust at all but dirt that could be wiped away.

Residents remain unconvinced.

“For $30-million dollars in Rockaway alone you think they’d be made better and certainly more attractive ,” Gaska said.

Restrooms and lifeguard stations are expected to be complete by next summer.

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