Courier Life’s

City lags behind neighborhood demands for repairs to barrier

City: Inspections on Belt Parkway-threatening seawall damage haven’t even begun

Brooklyn Daily
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Hurricane Sandy left gaping holes in Southern Brooklyn’s sea wall between Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst, but city agencies say repairs to the Shore Road Promenade barrier are a long way off since surveying the damage has just begun.

Both Community Boards 10 and 11 have warned city officials about how dangerous it would be not to replace the huge chunks of concrete the super storm ripped out of the sea wall, and state Sen. Marty Golden (R–Bay Ridge) fired off a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers demanding the entire bulwark from the Verrazano Bridge to Bay Parkway be replaced, but the feds say it won’t do any work on the rampart until it gets a formal request from the agency actually responsible for the wall’s upkeep — the city’s Parks Department.

Parks Department officials said they have hired a consultant to assess the costs of all storm-related repairs citywide — but that there is no time frame in place for fixing the shattered promenade.

“We don’t yet know the extent of the damage to the sea wall, or what will be required to repair it at this time,” Parks Department spokeswoman Meghan Lalor said.

Residents are calling on the city to inspect and fix up the sea wall as soon as possible.

“If they’re true New Yorkers, they’ll do it right and quick,” said Bensonhurst resident Anthony Kiernan, who frequently fishes off the promenade. “I think they should start hiring people now. With all the damage it received after the storm, we can put everybody back to work.”

Simon Bronshtein of Bath Beach — who usually works out near the foot of the Verrazano Bridge — agrees.

“For me, this is very troubling, because every day I come to exercise, and now it’s very difficult,” Bronshtein said.

Other community leaders feared that another storm surge could undermine and destroy the nearby Belt Parkway.

“These breaches really are a safety concern,” CB10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann said.

Golden is demanding that the seawall be repaired immediately.

“It is imperative that work on the damaged section being immediately to prevent further erosion as well as to protect the safety of the community and use of the Belt Parkway,” the legislator wrote in his letter.

But the Army Corps of Engineers said it can’t do anything without the city’s OK.

“The first step is to see what capacity the owners of the wall have to repair it, and then for them to request aid from the federal government, and see if the Army Corps of Engineers would get involved,” said Army Corps spokesman Chris Gardner, who noted that his organization didn’t build the sea wall in the first place.

The city’s Department of Transportation, which is responsible for maintaining most sections of the Belt Parkway, could neither confirm or deny Golden and Beckmann’s anxieties that the heavily traveled highway will disappear during another storm surge — it hasn’t checked to see if the Belt Parkway was damaged by the storm.

“The Department of Transportation has not received requests to assess the site, however, we are scheduling an inspection,” said spokeswoman Nichole Garcia.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at Follow him on Twitter at

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