An estimated 600,000 cubic yards of sand will be delivered to Dune Road in February.
Work is scheduled to begin the first week of the month after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $10.7 million contract to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company.
“That’s a lot of sand,” Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said. “It’s great news. It’s eroded so much. This is to restore it back to the levels the Fire Island to Montauk Point plan was designed for.”
That scheme aims to protect and build up the west side of Shinnecock Inlet. This sand will return the area to its 2005 authorization level. Great Lakes will bring in a cutterhead dredge, which boasts a rotating tool that loosens and dislodges soil, to construct a 15-foot-high dune with an associated 140-foot-wide beach berm from the toe of the dune. Congressman Lee Zeldin said it’s a better, more robust outcome than simply restoring the area to its 2019 pre-storm level.
“This is continued good news for our local economy and the restaurants and other businesses, including the second largest commercial fishing dock in New York . . . in the affected area,” Zeldin said, referring to the Shinnecock Commercial Fishing Dock across the street, where storm surged have reached. “This is an urgent situation along Dune Road affecting our community’s small businesses and jobs.”
Work is expected to be completed before the end of March, pending weather, Zeldin said.
Schneiderman said the inlet and shoals will be replenished, and that the company will be returning in 2021 to do it again. The town had issued several state of emergencies for the area at the end of last year.
“So far the berm’s held up — the county has been there a couple times — so as long as the weather is cooperative we’ll be OK,” Schneiderman said, knocking on wood while reiterating there’s three weeks until the February 5 start date. “We’re bridging the gap. We’ll watch the weather closely and do what we need to do, and then we’ll be out of the crosshairs for a while.”