THOUSANDS of dollars of materials meant to rebuild Sandy ravaged Rockaways remain unused, rusting away on beach

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QUEENS (PIX11) – “It looks like a junkyard here,” is how Megan Diaz described the scene at Beach 73rd Street where construction debris is scattered around two modular units.

It is all just yards away from the sign that reads, “We’ve come a long way since Sandy.”  On Friday, PIX11 News came across thousands of dollars worth of new pipes, fittings, a few people bridges and even fire extinguishers that have been sitting untouched for months.

Scattered piles of valuable materials that the city’s Department of Design and Construction confirmed to PIX11 News was all left in its place prior to the suspension of construction for the beach season this past May.

“You’re spending money on this for what?  You’re not doing nothing about it,” said Diaz, moments later when asked about unopened as well as exposed materials sitting and rusting away,  “We pay our money for it, our tax money, and this is what it looks like. It looks like junk to me.”

What looks like junk to Diaz is a potential danger lurking for Marguerite Young.  All that separates her from another round of reconstruction is a chain link fence and a major storm, “I am concerned now because if there were any kind of a hurricane or storm again, the wind would definitely move this stuff, over to where I live.”

Her home is seconds away directly across the street. Moreover, this is not Young’s only concern, “Why is it rusting right now so quickly?”

It’s a question PIX11 News went in search of on this dog day of summer. How is it possible that multi-million dollar bathrooms that are not even complete are already rusting?

Longtime area residents like Joe Hartigan are not pleased, “I see rust. I see rust on it.  I see pieces missing off the bottom.”

PIX11 News showcased the construction of these modular units back in May. Touted by the city for their architectural designs, critics bashed their price tag of $2 to $3 million dollars apiece.

Now the designer Jim Garrison, CEO of Garrison Architects, is telling the local paper, “The Wave,” that the material was not to “spec.”

After reaching out to the city’s Department of Design and Construction they emailed PIX11 News a video of bleach and a Brillo pad being applied to one row.  The city even titled the video, “all.clean.” 

One problem, it doesn’t get it all out.

One resident after viewing the video called the concept of taxpayers dollars being spent on additional workers coming in to scrub away the rust, that was never intended in the first place, “ridiculous.”