Now that the $1.5 billion Fire Island to Montauk Point (FIMP) project is finally underway after more than a half century of planning, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling on federal officials to expedite the work.
The first of 10 contracts — a $47.5 million job awarded to the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company — involves dredging 1.5 million cubic yards of sand from the bottom of the Fire Island Inlet and pumping it onto Gilgo Beach and Robert Moses State Park. But the U.S. Senate Majority Leader argued that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers managing the project should not wait until next year to award the contract for phase two.
“We gotta move faster because the second phase of this critical project and the flood protections it will deliver will happen too late in the middle of the next year’s hurricane season,” Schumer told reporters during a news conference at Overlook Beach.
Besides pumping sand dredged from the seafloor onto oceanfront beaches, the plan includes raising up bayfront structures across an 83-mile stretch of the South Shore of Long Island from Montauk Point to the Fire Island Inlet in order to mitigate future storm damage.
Schumer put the call out shortly after Ida, a post-tropical cyclone, brought torrential downpours to the New York Metro area, causing floods that left nine dead in New York City. He said waiting until next hurricane season leaves vulnerable shorefront communities at risk of future storm damage and urged the Army Corps to expedite all 10 contracts.