Section of Rockaway Beach closed for summer due to safety concerns

ROCKAWAY BEACH, Queens (WABC) -- A portion of Rockaway Beach will be closed for the summer due to safety concerns from erosion.

NYC Parks announced Monday that an 11-block section of Rockaway Beach will be closed to the public between Beach 91st Street and Beach 102nd Street to maintain the protective dune and keep swimmers safe.

About 4.5 miles of beach will remain open for swimming and recreation. The full boardwalk and the surfing area between Beach 88th Street and Beach 91st Street will also remain open for the summer season.

The section of the beach in front of the concessions and bathrooms at 97th Street will remain open for recreation, but there will be no access to the water.

"This decision was made in the interest of safety, and that will always remain our top priority," NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said in a statement. "The rebirth of Rockaway Beach stands as a symbol of this community's strength and determination to move forward after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, so having to close even just a small portion of it is very difficult for us."

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said the closure will significantly hurt the community and local businesses during summer's vital visitor season.

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