Responding to the pleas of many Hamptons elected officials, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will study the feasibiity of raising Dune Road in Hampton Bays, Quogue and Westhampton Beach to protect it from flooding and overwashes, ensuring it is passable during emergencies and for everyday use.
This environmental, economic and engineering assessment will be conducted as part of the Fire Island to Montauk Point plan. Called FIMP, the plan is intended to reduce storm damage across Long Island. The addition of Dune Road to the study was advocated by U.S. Representative Tim Bishop, of Southampton, NYS Senator Kenneth LaValle, of Port Jefferson, Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, and village mayors as well.
“Dune Road is a critical conduit for both residential and commercial traffic,” Bishop said. “It is home to over 30 businesses that suffer greatly from flooding-related closures. Elevating Dune Road will help to alleviate this problem and ensure continuous access.”
Thiele said, “This is an important step towards the federal funding of the $7 million Dune Road Elevation Project and represents an important policy shift at the federal level. … Together, we have changed the outlook for this project from ‘improbable’ to ‘possible’. With 100% federal funding, we can provide both the public safety and economic benefits that would result from this improvement. Hopefully, we will have a final decision in a few months. In the meantime, we need to work together to stockpile sand at this location to protect against over-washes and a possible breach.”
According to officials, Dune Road is subject to regular tidal flooding and was severely affected by flooding and sand encroachment caused by Superstorm Sandy.
“Dune Road provides the only access to the East End’s most important fishing port, many restaurants, and miles of public beach,” Throne-Holst added. “We have made every effort to impress upon the Army Corp the significance of the road to the local economy are very pleased they are willing to formally assess it.”