Greenport’s aging bulkhead damaged in last week’s storm

The Nor’easter that ripped through the region last week caused significant damage to the aging bulkhead bordering Mitchell Park and Marina in Greenport, and the village will now need to pay for emergency repairs ahead of a scheduled rebuilding project this fall.

The 776-foot timber bulkhead, which was built in the 1990s with an estimated lifespan of 20 years, according to a 2018 report, will be fully rebuilt with $3 million in federal appropriations funding — an earmark announced just last week by Congressman Nick LaLota (R-Amityville.)

Greenport Mayor Kevin Stuessi declared a state of emergency last week amid the storm “to potentially find some assistance through both the county and the state in order to do the immediate work that we’re going to need to do.”

The plan is to “rebuild the entirety of the bulkhead wall this winter and fall … but there are several pieces that will not make it until that time,” Mr. Stuessi said. “There’s one section [near the ferry terminal] that’s going to need to be replaced immediately, and there’s a few others that we can likely patch and get through the summer.”

The floating docks in the marina were “literally ripped apart at the metal connections to the major docks,” Mr. Stuessi said. “The storm surge was just incredible, with waves that literally tore through sheet metal.”

Conversely, a series of new baymen’s docks the village installed about a month ago “really fared well in the storm. The old ones never would have made it,” the mayor said.

Last Wednesday, Mr. LaLota  announced a $3 million federal grant for Greenport to rebuild the damaged bulkhead, part of nearly $87 million in congressional earmarks to Long Island through recently passed appropriation bills.

Mr. Stuessi had shared the good news to the village last month at a board meeting, and previously at a Times Review hosted forum on the future of Greenport.

He described last week’s storm as “just the right combination of high tide, wave action and wind blowing in from the east.”

Mr. Stuessi said that village officials are still reviewing options for the best materials to use in the new bulkhead. The 2018 report, compiled by D & G Engineers and Architects P.C., recommended that the village rebuild the structure using vinyl instead of wood.