Boulders Don’t Belong on Beach 116th Street!

Boulders Don’t Belong on Beach 116th Street!

117 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
Petition to and

Why this petition matters

Started by Elda Vale

We, the residents of Ocean Grande, petition the USACE and our local elected officials to relocate the Beach 116th staging area. 

While we support the timely completion of all the storm protection initiatives, we urgently ask that the staging area be moved a minimum of several hundred feet east of Beach 116th Street and the construction schedule be altered to avoid May through October. 

Beach 116th Street is the main business district in Rockaway Park with businesses on the eastern and western sides of the street from the bay to the street. At the ocean, behind the boardwalk, is Ocean Grande, a building with 93 apartments.  The current USACE groin staging area is 50 feet from the Ocean Grande and the 79 unit Hampton House.  The groin staging area needs to be relocated for the following reasons:

1. The constant vibrations are dangerous to the Ocean Grande building and its foundation.Twelve to eighteen truckloads of rocks and boulders are being dropped every weekday since September 7, 2021. Continually, during the day, the rocks are scooped up, dropped, and then moved onto other trucks and rock pile for 8 hours Monday-Friday. The impact of the earthquake like vibrations may have future implications on the building structure.

2. Dust, sand and rock particles, emanating from persistent construction work, are harmful to Ocean Grande and Hampton House residents who have respiratory and other health problems, the elderly, young children and those with comorbidities.  This represents a health risk for all members of the surrounding community, one that may emerge years later. Toxic silica dust is produced during this process. When silica dust enters the lungs, it causes inflammation which, over time, leads to the development of scar tissue that makes breathing difficult. Exposure to silica dust can lead to the development of lung cancer, silicosis, kidney disease, chronic bronchitis and pulmonary disease.

3. Endless disturbances from the construction work infringe on our right to live and work in our homes. Noise from trucks idling on 116th Street begins as early as 6:00 am and crescendos with the first of many large booms at 7:00 am sharp as boulders are repeatedly dropped.  Additional noise from trucks transporting rocks up and down the peninsula continues to reverberate into the late afternoon and occasionally work even takes place at night. Given that this project is expected to run through 2024, it is inappropriate and unfair for the affected buildings to bear the burden for the entire 3+ years.

4. Rockaway residents rely on the businesses on Beach 116th Street.  
 Many of the businesses cannot survive without the tens of thousands of seasonal customers that come to the beach late spring thru early fall. The five delis, two liquor stores, pizzerias, the ice cream shop and the many neighborhood restaurants cannot endure without the high level of seasonal foot traffic that comes by subway and buses. The staging area on the beach at 116th Street will limit the number of beachgoers and put one of Rockaway Peninsula’s main business districts at risk. We need each and every business on 116th Street!

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117 have signed. Let’s get to 200!