Sheapshead Bay byway is undermined by eroding sand foundation

Fidler gives Parks $450,000 to fix Plumb Beach bike path

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Councilman Lew Fidler has decided it’s about time that the city puts some real money into fixing up the Plumb Beach bike path.

He’s giving the Parks Department $450,000 to reinforce and repave the route that’s slowly sliding into the water.

“I made a promise to get this done and I take my promises very seriously,” said a very serious Fidler.

Nestled between the Belt Parkway and Plumb Beach, the bike path has been flirting with ruin for as long as anyone can remember.

According to life-long local Cliff Brukenstein, the sand on which the bike path was built is in a constant state of erosion. While the erosion wasn’t caused by recent nor’easters, hurricanes, and super storms, the storms have caused it to accelerate.

“It really wasn’t the storm damage,” said Brukenstein, also a member of the Sheepshead Bay–Plumb Beach Civic Association. “Plumb Beach has been eroding since forever, since they built the Belt.”

As the path’s sandy foundation slips into Jamaica Bay, the asphalt path is crumbling. Although the city has made modest attempts to reinforce the bike path and prevent erosion by laying down sand bags, those efforts have only managed to stem the bleeding, not close the wound.

The Army Corps of Engineers is currently working on a project to protect Plumb Beach and the valuable Belt Parkway behind it. However, Fidler decided there needs to be a more permanent and comprehensive solution.

“There is [a] consensus that the work should not be done until the Army Corps’ project is complete and the stability of the beach is ensured,” he said.

Fidler said he high-balled the funding to ensure a speedy completion to the bike path’s rehabilitation project. He said some of that $450,000 may be left over and returned to the city for use in other projects.

The path’s rehabilitation is expected to commence next spring, following the completion of the Army’s anti-erosion project. That project is slated to end in December.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4514.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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