“Due to crane safety regulations put into effect the other month, the cranes had to be put into safety mode a number of times due to high wind conditions in recent weeks,” the spokesperson said. “As a result, we are moving the expected open date for the small section to July.”
The new safety regulations passed in the wake of a crane accident in lower Manhattan this year that killed one and injured three others. It required that all crawler cranes cease operation and go into safety mode whenever steady winds were forecast to exceed 20 miles per hour or gusts of 30 miles per hour.
The rest of the project is on or ahead of schedule, which means by Memorial Day Rockaway residents and beachgoers will be able to travel from Beach 19th Street to Beach 108th Street with an oceanside view and without having to contend with vehicular traffic.
Some of the portions of boardwalk still utilize the structures that weren't destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, but those will be replaced by new construction by summer of 2017.
“The rest of the boardwalk is opening on or ahead of the expedited schedule this administration set,” the spokesperson said. “Given the many sections have already opened, 80 percent of the boardwalk will be open on Memorial Day, 100 percent will be open in July, and the boardwalk will be totally complete as brand new construction by next summer as planned.”
For the residents of the peninsula, however, the setback is a disappointment.
"While the Parks Department and Department of Design and Construction have done a good job meeting other deadlines, this setback is deeply disappointing due to the reality of the upcoming beach season and the fact that this section is one of the busiest along the beach," said Community Board 14 district manager Jonathan Gaska. "We are concerned about the potential for overcrowding at other sections, as well as the inconvenience to the adjacent homeowners."