Possible Rockaway Beach closures leave lawmakers, local businesses upset

The summer season at Rockaway Beach in X is just around the corner, but it may be cut short this year.

Beach 92nd to Beach 116th Street is expected to be closed for much of the summer due to an improvement project meant to protect the coast from future erosion. 

"The current plan was weekdays from Memorial Day to the end of July, which is really basically saying the entire beach season," said New York City Council member Joann Ariola. "And that's not something we can afford."

Now, Ariola is calling on the city's Parks Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to postpone the project until after the summer season.

Beachside restaurants fear that the project will take an enormous financial toll during a crucial time they rely on for business, especially after the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A petition to keep Rockaway Beach open for the whole summer has already received over 4,000 signatures.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says they are willing to be as flexible as possible with work schedules, adding that the city will have the final say on any potential beach closures.