Protestors Put Brakes on Police Parking Structure in Napeague Wetlands

Nighttime architectural render of Hamptons Police impound garage on Napeague wetlands
Nighttime architectural render of Hamptons Police impound garage on Napeague wetlands, Photo: Pavlo Vakhrushev, Jaimie Tuchman, Alexandr Muntean/123RF

Construction of a planned five-story Hamptons Police Department impound facility and parking ramp began on a wide swath of Napeague wetlands this week, but the work was quickly stalled by protestors who formed a human chain around the site, similar to tactics used against the Army Corps of Engineers sandbag project in Montauk. According to people at the scene, contractors managed to begin digging the foundation before activists descended on the area and blocked work from continuing.

“Building this kind of large concrete structure is not easy to do on the salt marsh, and these people are not making it any easier,” Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch said, explaining that great care must be given to the facility’s substructure, lest it be washed out to sea. “I’m not sure what the problem is here,” he added. “Yes, it may impede some water views, but we maintain that the building itself will offer a gorgeous alternative view, which includes bright lights so people can enjoy looking at the surrounding wetlands no matter the time of day,” Hirsch continued. “This facility will illuminate the entire area, even in the dead of night.”

Opponents of the project, who have been taking shifts protecting the site from further construction, say a five-story parking garage is not in keeping with the character of the otherwise pristine natural surrounds. “We will not leave, even if it takes the entire summer to get them to stop,” one protestor, who asked to remain anonymous, said.

“We’re not going to let this continue much longer,” Hirsch noted after two days without progress on the facility. Expect to see arrests, en masse, before June 20.

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