With warmer weather waiting in the wings, the Department of Public Works is busy finishing up repairs to shoreline facilities still showing signs of damage inflicted by Superstorm Sandy in October 2012.
At Sasco and Southport beaches, small sheds are being built for lifeguards. Before the storm struck, concession stands at both beaches also housed facilities for lifeguards. But Sandy ripped both buildings off their foundations and officials decided not to rebuild the concession stands. Instead, they opted to provide beach refreshments via mobile vendors.
The asphalt-and-concrete barrier at Southport Beach, left broken and in pieces after the storm, has been redesigned, according to Public Works Superintendent Scott Bartlett, and will now act as more of a seawall. Crews are rebuilding the wall.
"The old wall was designed to lessen the impact of waves" during big storms, Bartlett said. "Now, we're trying to divert the waves, and we think we'll be able to."
The seawall at the other end of the beach, closer to Beachside Avenue, was rebuilt last year.
Other shoreline work includes repairs to the fishing pier at the South Benson Marina. "That one we're still tidying up," Bartlett said.
Test pits are being dug at the end of Fairfield Beach Road near the turnaround, he said, for a new seawall on the Long Island Sound side of the street and a new bulkhead on the creek side.
"That's a longer-term project," Bartlett said. "The waves damage the road as they're coming across from the Sound, and then they wash back out across the road.
The town will also determine whether to repave the road's entire turnaround or just repair the areas damaged in the storm. The Federal Emergency Management Agency reimburses only for the square footage that was damaged, but Bartlett said it sometimes makes more sense to do a complete repair.
The work was approved as part of a $5.15 million bonding package for repairs to town buildings
and infrastructure needed in the aftermath of the storm.