The Plumb Beach bike path will close this week for up to seven months so that the Army Corps of Engineers can finish its critical project to shore up the beach against erosion and prevent the Belt Parkway from slipping into the Atlantic Ocean.
“We had originally hoped that we would be able to maintain a detour for the bikers, while carrying out this coastal storm risk reduction work,” said a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers. “But it’s become clear, that in order to maintain safety, we had to close the bike path.”
The Army is currently overseeing contractors that are erecting sand dunes, walls, and coastal jetties to protect the beach and Belt Parkway against erosion in the event of future storms.
The bike path suffered damage from Hurricane Sandy and previous nor’easters. It was originally planned to remain open with a detour through the Plumb Beach parking lot, which is located off the Belt Parkway between exits 9 and 10.
“Work on site has gotten closer to the detour we created in the parking lot,” said the spokesman.
“There’s now an inadequate amount of room in a small area to keep pedestrians and bikers a safe distance from construction.”
The Army wouldn’t specify when the path will close this week. It said the closure depended on when contractors begin the final phase of the project, which involves pumping sand from the ocean floor and dumping it onto the berm, or the land-ward edge of the beach.
Once closed, the bike path will remain off limits to civilian traffic until sometime in December, when the project is scheduled for completion.Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cn
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