“It looks like garbage.”
That’s how Community Board 15 Chair Theresa Scavo is describing the patchwork of repairs to the crumbling Shore Boulevard bulkhead.
The spackle−and−trowel−like repairs are readily apparent up and down the length of the promenade from Exeter to Irwin Streets in Manhattan Beach.
In November, the city wrapped up a three−year, $14 million effort to repair the seawall after part of it collapsed, taking a section of the Ocean Avenue footbridge with it back in 2005.
The visible part of the bulkhead − where fishermen and others congregate at the railing − however, was left largely untouched.
Even after millions had been spent, rusted metal rebar could be seen poking through the degraded concrete beneath the railing.
Last fall’s original ribbon−cutting ceremony toasting the completed work on the bulkhead was abruptly cancelled after Scavo and Assemblymember Steven Cymbrowitz complained about the quality of the repair work.
At the time, the community was assured that perceived problems with the repairs would be addressed −− thus the latest patchwork effort.
“They [the city] are claiming that they did repairs,” Scavo said. “But I care about aesthetics.”
This week, the New York City Economic Development Corporation [EDC], the lead agency on the bulkhead project, told this newspaper that there is simply no money to improve the way the bulkhead looks.
“Currently there is no funding in place to build a new esplanade or improve the aesthetics,” an EDC spokesperson said. “If funding does become available we will look into expanding the scope to include that work.”
That doesn’t sit well with Cymbrowitz.
“It is inexcusable that what EDC considers the finished product looks sloppy and the residents of Manhattan Beach, and the thousands who visit this community annually, are left with the untouched, crumbling and rusting old bulkhead as the barrier between the promenade and the bay,” he said. “While it would have cost slightly more to include replacing the above−water section of the old bulkhead in the project, this would have been money well spent.”
Scavo sees other problems with the work beyond the bulkhead.
She said that several benches along the promenade that were in place before bulkhead repairs commenced are now missing, while areas that were once grassy are now less than green.
“They were supposed to make sure that the grass was replaced,” Scavo said. “Instead they put down something like sawdust. There’s no grass.”