Storm damages access road to state park on Long Island

- Orient Beach State Park on Long Island is closed indefinitely after Saturday's nor'easter caused widespread damage on parts of the North Fork. Several high-tide cycles during the storm washed away a section of road that leads into the park.

New York State Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation Deputy Regional Director George Gorman surveyed the scene on Wednesday.

A contractor has already been hired and is scheduled to begin repair work as early as next week. The stretch of road already repaired after Superstorm Sandy withstood this latest storm. The plan is to use similar 10-ton boulders to protect the road from erosion.

"We're estimating it will be complete by the end of the year but it will be weather and material dependent," Gorman said. "It's a popular park. It's a location we want to reopen so the locals and visitors can come and enjoy."

Officials estimate some 70,000 people visit the park in the off-season. The park has biking and hiking paths and an area to play and picnic.

Long Island has 37 state parks. Orient alone sees about 350,000 people each year.

Officials estimate the repairs to the roadway will cost up to $1 million.

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