Beach bummer! Labor Day fun in the Rockaways stalled by Sandy recovery

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ROCKAWAY BEACH, QUEENS (PIX11) – It was a beach bummer for many people in Rockaway Saturday.  On Friday, we told you about plans to shutdown part of the beach to make way for Sandy repair work.  Well, that work caused confusion and headaches for beach-goers trying to relax on the last weekend of summer.

“Since hurricane Sandy, it’s like the bastard son of the city.  If this was Coney Island, they wouldn’t have done what they did this weekend to it,” said Jim Jandelli, who came all the way from the Bronx.

Jandelli was just one of hundreds of beach-goers who were pissed off that the Army Corps of Engineers couldn’t take a break from dredging for the Labor Day weekend.

The Sandy repair work forced crews to shutdown 20 blocks of the beach so bulldozers could spread sand along the shoreline.

Making matters worse, there was very little notice about the closure, and for a while even members of the parks department weren’t sure what parts of the beach were open and closed.

Patrick Caveny lives in Rockaway and was ready to put his chair in his usual spot on Beach 125th Street only to find out it was closed.

“I was very very disappointed to know that they workers are working on a long weekend when people look forward to coming to the beach,” said Caveny.

But some of the people who live here in Rockaway and were disappointed to find their section of beach closed, say they understand that the work needs to be done to prevent a future storm from causing damage like Sandy.  Still they say they’re not sure why it had to be done on the last weekend of summer.

A spokesperson for the Army Corps of Engineers told us they tried to mitigate the damage by reopening the stretch between 94th street and 110th which had been closed for the last three weeks.

But to get to the water, people had to literally climb over the pipe, pumping sand further down the beach.

“It’s an eyesore and it looks unsafe,” said Rockaway resident Dominique Graves. “Why would you not wait just one more week? I know school’s coming back next week and everything.  Just wait one more week, it’s not fair to the residents.”

Still crews will work through the holiday weekend and the closures could continue to move further up the beach.

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