East Lyme plans repairs to beach areas

East Lyme - The town is moving ahead with plans to repair two beach areas along Niantic Bay damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

The projects would rebuild a concrete sidewalk at Crescent Beach and make improvements to McCook Point Park.

The Zoning Commission approved at Thursday's meeting the two coastal area management review applications for the repairs. These site reviews are mandated by the Connecticut Coastal Management Act.

The planned repairs include building a 390-foot-long sidewalk at Crescent Beach and replacing benches. The storm had damaged the previous sidewalk.

Victor Benni, the town's civil engineer, said the new sidewalk would have a wall below it, on the side facing the water, as well as a concrete block behind it, to protect the structure from erosion.

"We're hoping to keep the sidewalk in place if future storms inundate the area down there," he said. He added that the town is working in conjunction with the Crescent Beach Association on the repairs. The project could take about three to four months, he said.

Meanwhile, at McCook's the influx of stormwater during Sandy eroded parts of the parking lot and washed away a part of the walking path.

The town's proposal includes building a 75-foot-long sidewalk adjacent to a seawall on the beach side to further protect against storm damage. The town would also repair part of the seawall that toppled over during Sandy and reinforce the top of that seawall with concrete.

The town is hoping the repairs to McCook's could be completed by Memorial Day, Benni said.

k.drelich@theday.com

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