Residents are advised that, for safety reasons, a portion of the walking path at Rocky Point will be closed temporarily beginning Monday in order to accommodate the demolition work that is the first stage in efforts to transform the entire property into a new coastal state park for the public to enjoy. It’s estimated that the portion of the walkway, in front of the Shore Dinner Hall, will be closed for two to four weeks.
The state Department of Environmental Management (DEM) began demolition and site restoration at the state-owned portion of the former amusement park earlier this month. Work includes site preparation for asbestos removal work and demolition of structures, including the Shore Dinner Hall and the Palladium/Windjammer. Asbestos removal and site restoration work will also take place at main buildings and in the midway area. This phase is expected to take 75 days to complete. Several remaining cottages will also be demolished. Cost is $3.064 million.
“The demolition and site restoration work is an important step in the process of opening the entire park for public access,” Mayor Scott Avedisian said in a statement. “We appreciate residents’ cooperation and understanding while the portion of the path is closed so this phase can move forward as quickly as planned.”
In 2007, with the help of state and federal funding, the city secured ownership of 41 acres – a full mile of coastline – at Rocky Point. City workers transformed the property into an attractive waterfront destination, which includes a public parking area, new landscaping, picnic area, improved beach access, and the path, which wends along the shore, offering spectacular views of the Bay.
In March of last year, DEM acquired the remaining 83 acres, which will be integrated with the city’s property. DEM and the city will work cooperatively with a variety of stakeholders and the public to restore the property. Potential improvements to the park include fishing access, access to the property by boat, development of a walking path system, fields and other recreational amenities, according to Janet Coit, DEM director.