Mayor Bill de Blasio was joined by local leaders last week for a tour of the $314 million boardwalk, which is part recreation space and part resiliency measure.
“The Rockaways have been ignored in so many ways for decades by city government and the powers that be,” said de Blasio. “That was tough enough, and along came Hurricane Sandy and that made it so much worse.”
De Blasio recalled coming to Rockaway in the days after Sandy, seeing the boardwalk completely destroyed.
“I was here when there will buildings still on fire, and you could see the devastation of the boardwalk pushed in on the streets,” he said.
The project came in $120 million under budget, money de Blasio said will go towards other resiliency measures on the peninsula.
The boardwalk is a concrete deck fixed to steel pipe piles that elevate it above the 100-year floodplain, with a concrete retaining wall underneath. In front of the boardwalk sits six miles of sand dunes.
“That last boardwalk was literally thrown by the waves into the streets of the Rockaways,” de Blasio said. “This boardwalk is not going anywhere.”
For Rockaway residents and visitors, the recreational aspect of the boardwalk is the real centerpiece. It features three lanes for walking and two for biking, as well as a variety of concessions.