Four months after Hurricane Sandy carried large sand dunes from the beach onto at the county is almost finished cleaning up the mess, according to Deputy Commissioner of Westchester County Parks Peter Tartaglia.
“We are hoping to reopen within the next week or so,” Targalia said early this week. Debris from Playland’s torn up boardwalks mixed in with what were originally sand dunes and swept onto the parking lot area between the lake and the beach at Edith Read, Tartaglia said.
Over the last two weeks, the county has been carting off huge piles of sand, grading the area down and fixing the roadway, he said.
Once the sand is all removed, the whole shoreline will need sand replacement and the boardwalks will need to be repaired.
Friends of Edith Read Sanctuary were concerned that some of the trash from Playland’s trash compactors and dumpsters located near their entrance had mixed in with the sand, but Tartaglia said those dumpsters were empty when Sandy hit, two months after the park closed for the season.
The county is still trying to figure out what to do about the destroyed section of the north boardwalk. It may replace it with a retaining wall.
Over the last four months the county has been dealing with more than $12.5 millions in damage at Playland. Wood from the torn up boardwalks made its way towards the title gate, which feeds water into the lake, which affected the lake’s water levels. The county had to fix each large issue according to safety.
“Playland took a huge hit,” Tartaglia said. “We have been methodically moving from project to project with safety being a big issue.”
Despite the massive piles of sand contaminated with solid debris, the land is safe, Targalia said.
The county is aiming to have Edith Read reopened by mid-March or sooner, and the southern boardwalk open by mid-May. The north boardwalk, if it is replaced, would not be open until next year, Tartaglia said.
Read more about Playland repairs here.