Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) announced that the Sandy Hook Unit of Gateway National Recreation Area will receive more than $35 million in federal aid to repair damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.
Of the $35 million, $30 million has been allocated for the national park from the Superstorm Sandy relief package passed by Congress in January with an additional $5.2 million awarded through U.S. Department of Transportation Emergency Relief for Federally Owned Roads Program.
“Sandy Hook is a treasure enjoyed as a destination by families from throughout New Jersey and beyond,” said Pallone. “So much of Sandy Hook was devastated by the storm and it is critical that we get the beaches and park infrastructure repaired as soon as possible so visitors can enjoy the park in upcoming season. I am pleased that this funding will help get the park back in working order.”
During a recent tour of Sandy Hook Congressman Pallone reviewed with the National Park Service-specific projects for which the federal aid will be used.
Included in those projects are: repairing and repaving roads, parking lots, boardwalks and the multi-use path, fixing the beach facilities and restrooms, restoring ferry service to Sandy Hook, restoring fishing opportunities, opening campground for public and group camping and resuming public interpretive programs.
Funds will also be used for replacing and repairing utility infrastructure work includes restoring electric, water, sewer, wastewater treatment systems as well as telecommunication systems.
The National Park Service anticipates spending approximately $18 million on buildings, $5 million on trails and beaches, $3 million on utilities, $2 million on equipment and $2 million on roads. These funds meet the anticipated need for Sandy Hook recovery from Superstorm Sandy.
“Sandy Hook is a major driver of the tourism economy for the region,” said Pallone. “Each year, over 2 million visitors come to Sandy Hook from throughout the state and beyond to enjoy our pristine beaches, and in the process, help fuel the local economy. Getting Sandy Hook back in working order must continue to be a top priority as we work to rebuild from Superstorm Sandy’s destruction.”
Sandy Hook has been closed since the storm, but parts of the site will open on May 1. Beach B, Gunnison Beach and North Beach will open Memorial Day weekend. As repairs and relief work continues additional parts of the park may open.