Message from Mayor Letica - August 8, 2017

During the Board of Trustees meeting held on August 1st, the Mayor’s report included information that I felt was important enough to share with the entire Village. This information pertains to the seawall which is located at the far end of Asharoken Avenue.  For those of you who are new to the Village, the seawall was constructed and completed in 1995 to 1997 by the USACE; the construction took place after the Nor’easter of 1992 that destroyed the dunes protecting Asharoken Avenue. The design level of protection is expected to be approximately 15 years.  It was repaired three times during the years 2007 through 2012.

In early June during our periodic inspection of the seawall we noticed that towards the center of the seawall a large depression (sink hole) was developing landward of the seawall. We immediately reported the condition and sent photos to the NYSDEC and USACE.  This new development could potentially be a very serious problem and jeopardize the entire seawall. In spite of the NYSDEC’s best efforts, the Army Corps of Engineers did not follow up with an inspection in June or even early July. I sent a second notification in the form of a letter dated July 15th directly to the new Commander of the New York District Office of the USACE, Colonel Asbery. I explained our concern for the safety and well-being of several thousand Asharoken and Town of Huntington residents and enumerated the consequences of the potential failure of the seawall, and asked that the USACE evaluate the situation as soon possible. A copy of the letter is attachedClick Here

Congressman Tom Suozzi received a copy of the July 15th letter. I also reached out to the Congressman by phone and he immediately contacted the USACE. His intervention was critical in getting the USACE to schedule an inspection of the seawall by two engineers on July 27th. Congressman Suozzi has discussed with me how important it is to find a long term solution to the seawall and that he will strongly advocate on behalf of everyone who depends on it. In April one of the steel caps separated from the seawall during a storm. I notified the Congressman and he immediately organized a large meeting in May with the Town of Huntington, USACE, NYSDEC, Coast Guard and other agencies to begin working towards a plan to repair the wall. There is no doubt that resolving the seawall problem is a top priority for Congressman Suozzi.

The engineer’s preliminary summary of the situation was that the depression (sink hole) is likely to progressively enlarge; the cause of the seawall damage is due to severe erosion of the shoreline fronting the seawall and the engineers recommend re-construction of the seawall and shoreline erosion control measures. Later this month a full scale inspection will take place. I will continue to keep you informed as new information becomes available.


Mayor Greg Letica