December 14, 2018
On December 5th the Village and the Town of Huntington sent a joint letter to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to formally request the United States Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) to develop a plan to fix the failing seawall and eroded beach seaward of it. The letter asked the ACOE to evaluate different types of durable structures, analyze the effectiveness of a cobble beach and consider a plan to elevate Asharoken Avenue in the seawall area.
Click here to read the full letter
The seawall is at the end of its life expectancy. Serious corrosion at the top of the sheet steel resulted in 5 steel caps torn off the wall by waves this year. The beach in front of the wall has eroded causing a sinkhole landward of the sheet steel, the displacement of several large boulders facing Long Island Sound and the persistent overtopping of the wall by waves and water. Several cars have been forced off the road due to the overtopping and resulted in the need to rescue the occupants. Last August the Village and Town jointly repaired the sinkhole. The overtopping was severe enough during the last two nor'easters to result in closure of the road for a total of 9 hours. In addition, the overtopping causes erosion of sand on both sides of the roadway.
We have reached a point where a plan must be developed and implemented to fix the seawall and the beach in front of the wall. Failure to mitigate these issues will ultimately result in failure of the wall and possible loss of Asharoken Avenue in this area. The present situation poses a risk to the safety and well-being of everyone, including first responders, who have to drive through this area during windy to stormy days.
Once the Village and Town receive a plan from the ACOE we will evaluate the options presented, costs associated with the project and every means to seek grants and other funding to pay for the project. It is likely that a final solution will be several years down the road. I must be clear at the beginning of this process: the project may cost the Village a substantial amount of money, may require acquisition of real estate by the seawall area only, and may require public access on the beach, in the seawall area only, if the beach seaward of the seawall is restored. These are all issues that will be addressed at the appropriate time. For now, the Village is waiting to hear back from the ACOE regarding their proposed plan.
I am pleased that the Town has partnered with Village to seek a plan to the seawall issues. Together we have fixed the sinkhole, shared the cost of our Coastal Engineer and worked to clean the road following washover events. This is the first time since the seawall was constructed in 1994 that the two municipalities have partnered in this manner.
It is the responsibility of the Mayor and the Board of Trustees to ensure the safety of our residents and the members of the surrounding community who must drive past the seawall every day, as well as to protect the infrastructure of Asharoken Avenue. As I receive updates from the ACOE they will be shared with you.
Mayor Greg Letica