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Facts Sheet

posted Sep 4, 2015, 5:53 AM by POENB Association   [ updated Sep 13, 2015, 4:45 PM ]



“…This is not about restoring private beaches. It is about protecting the single access roadway affecting over 2,000 residents in the area, both in Asharoken and Eatons Neck. It is about the US Coast Guard Station at Eatons Neck and the Eatons Neck Fire Department both of which could be cut off in a major storm. Our safety and health depends on a roadway that must be open at all times…sand will be placed in front of homes in Asharoken, but this sand also protects the road by reducing the chances of Long Island Sound flooding the street and making it impassable. Approximately one half of the proposed sand deposition would actually be placed only in front of the road and sea wall, not homes…”

Mayor Letica

Some Road Facts

- The Army Corp Project for Asharoken Ave covers 2.4 miles (12,672 feet) - from LILCO’s west jetty, to the seawall by Bevin Rd.

- Asharoken Ave is built on a sand isthmus that separates the Long Island Sound and Northport Bay. The isthmus varies in width from 100ft at the west end to 1,000ft at the east end. It is the only road and connection between Eatons Neck and Long Island.

- The road is an Emergency Evacuation Route.

- 27% of the 2.4 mile road is now designated as “A Critical Erosion Area” by the Army Corp. The western 1,000 feet of the road in the Seawall area and the most recently downgraded 2,500 foot eastern road section from house numbers 110 to 180.

- The Army Corp has publically stated that the Seawall on the west side is inadequate.

- 1.1 miles of the west portion of the road is too narrow to support houses on the Long Island Sound side where the road is protected by only ~20foot wide sand dunes and a seawall, that both washout and wash over during storms and extreme tides. The remaining 1.3 miles (6864 feet) of road has the added protection from the property around the homes there, but the latest Army Corp study designates the East most 2500feet of those homes are now also “A Critical Erosion Area”.

- The road is a single access point for 2,000 residents of Asharoken, Eatons Neck and. Current traffic counts show over 2,500 round trips daily. It must be noted that this is not a summer community – over 2000 people live here - everyday.

- The road is the only means of transport for Emergency vehicles, Ambulance transports, Fire response and Police response.

- It is the only means for services and supplies to 2000 residents for Heating Oil, Food and all other basic services.

- It is the only means for the residents to commute to work, school, etc

- The roadside shoulders carry ALL the Service Infrastructure:

- Elevated and Underground LIPA electric service via poles and wires – the sole source for power to 2000 residents

- Suffolk County Water Authority Water Main, buried along the sound side of the road - the only water service to 2000 residents

- PSEG gas main – the only gas service to connected residents

- Elevated Telephone and Cable services to 2000 residents

What is the Army Corp Proposing?

- The Army Corp has studied this for many years, the current study assessed 17 options and found only 3 that meet their strict cost/benefit definition - all 3 essentially pushing the lost sand back onto the beach.

- The Army Corp/VOA current “Preferred” option is a $30m project for 600,000 cubic yards of sand to be dredged and deposited along the entire 2.5 mile road, with 60,000 cubic yard replenishments every 3 years.

To Put 600,000 Cubic Yards in Perspective – it equates to roughly 120ft of beach in front of the dunes, sea wall and homes at high tide. This would roughly restore the beachfront to where it was prior to LILCO building the Power Plant in the 1960’s, with the associated jetties and discharge basin that disrupted and blocked the littoral flow of sand that previously maintained and naturally re-nourished the beach alongside of Asharoken Ave.

- Based on prior settlements, LILCO currently dredges 45,000 cubic yards every 3 years from the east side of the plant where excess sand builds up and deposits it to Asharoken Ave on the west side in an effort to mitigate further damage and replace some of the sand blocked and displaced by their jetties and discharge basin system

In summary, the proposed Army Corp Project essentially restores 120 feet of sand to the 2.5 mile beach beside Asharoken Ave, back to the same length it was back in the 1960’s BEFORE LILCO jetties and basins caused the current “Critical Erosion Area” problems – this is a Manmade Issue, further compounded by Mother Nature.

Why is the Village of Asharoken concerned about accepting the Army Corp recommended project?

The Army Corp recommendations are based overwhelmingly on Cost/Benefit Analysis to the Public, where Public Benefit is narrowly defined as Public Beach Access to the dredged, restored beachfront alongside the road –Public Benefit does NOT include protecting Public Road Access, or protecting the Services Infrastructure or protecting the Health, Safety and Welfare of over 2,000 residents. This is not a summer community - over 2,000 people live here every day and rely on Asharoken Ave as the only access to their homes and family 24/7/365.

So what is the Army Corp is insisting on, that is so objectionable to the Village of Asharoken?

  • The Army Corp has mandated Public Beach Access, required every half mile, with the associated permanent easements on personal property

  • Two of the mandated access points are in the midst of sound side homes many of which are on 50’ wide lots

    • Public Parking along Asharoken Avenue is required

    • Handicap access is required

    • Visiting “Public” would have the same beach rights as owners with regards to cooking and consuming food and alcohol, pets on the beach, etc. Residents are concerned about sanitary and garbage.

    • Visiting “Public” is entitled to use the beach, not only to the high tide line as anyone can today, but to the edge of the deposited sand in homeowner’s back yards. Residents are concerned about their safety and privacy

    • Residents are concerned that police costs would rise to provide visiting “Public” with minimal safety and code enforcement

    • Asharoken property owners would solely bear the costs of liability insurance as the Feds and State will not participate. If someone of the visiting “Public” gets hurt on the beach, they sue the property owner.


    • The Initial Cost for the 600,000 cubic yards of sand placed along the entire 2.4 mile sound side of Asharoken Ave is estimated to be $30m, to be followed by the cost of 60,000 cubic yards of re-nourishment every 3 years.

    • Asharoken Property owners would solely bear 10.5% of the project cost, approximately $3,000,000 and 15% of re-nourishment cost every 3 years.

    • Asharoken has a population of 620 with 305 homes as well 120 beach lot owners. Resulting in an initial cost of somewhere around $7,000 to $10,000 per home/lot owner. Followed by 15% of the replenishment cost every 3 years.

So can we somehow assess and compare the “Public Value” from Protecting the Road for 2,000 people vs the Beach Access for the “Public” ?

One approach: assess the Annual HOURS of VALUE the PUBLIC derive from each.

Annual Hours of Public Value” = Number of People x Hours of Access/Day x Days per Year

The “Annual Hours of Public Value” from Road and Infrastructure Access:

For each person, 1 person x 24 hours x 7 days x 52 weeks = 8,736 Annual Hours of Public Value/Person

For 2,013 Public Residents x 24hours x 7days x 52weeks = 17,585,568 Annual Hours of Public Value

The “Annual Hours of Public Value” from Public Beach Access:
For each person, 1 Person x 6hours x 7days x 26weeks = 1,902 Annual Hours of Public Value/Person

The “Breakeven” number for people using Public Beach Access:

17,585,568 / 1,902 = 16,104 people at the beach every day for 6 hours, each day for 6 months to “breakeven”

As a reference point, Jones Beach has 14,302 parking spots

These are not mutually exclusive options, but the Public Benefit and Value of uninterrupted road access outweighs beach access by 8 to 1 on a per person basis. (8,736 hrs vs 1092 hrs)

Is Public Access to a Beach even an issue? The Existing Beaches are underutilized!

At the East End of Asharoken Ave just before the Village is Soundview Beach and Boat Ramps on the Sound and Town of Huntington’s (TOH) Asharoken Beach on Northport Bay, a mile further east is TOH Crab Meadow Beach, a few miles further east is Sunken Meadow State Park, a few miles west of Asharoken Ave is TOH Hobart Beach. Combined, there is significant excess parking capacity. All Town of Huntington Beaches are open to the General Public, parking is provided for a fee. Most of these beaches are ADA compliant and have sanitary rest rooms available during the summer season and hours of operation. TOH Beaches also provide lifeguards on duty.