The Jones Beach water tower, a giant symbol of Long Island's seaside roots for the last eight decades, is in the midst of an over $6 million restoration project that is slated for completion by the start of the 2011 beach season.
The water tower, which is situated at the southernmost end of the Wantagh Parkway entering Jones Beach State Park, has been being renovated for the past two years thanks to funding allocated by the State Legislature. The initial allocation provided by the state for the project, which was first scheduled for completion by summer 2010, was $3.2 million. However costs have since risen to $6.2 million due to additional brick and steel problems discovered on the 231-foot high structure, said George Gorman, deputy director for the Long Island region of the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
"It was determined that more additional work would be required," said Gorman of why the Jones Beach water tower restoration is scheduled to to completed a year behind schedule. "As the work progressed we saw that additional work was necessary."
Gorman said the restoration process this year has included replacing a couple of the columns on the upper and lower structure of the tower that were made of cement. Work has also included replacing many cracked bricks on the side of the water tower and a crane pulled off a cap on it a few months ago, according to Gorman.
Assemblyman David McDonough (R-North Merrick), whose 19th district encompasses Jones Beach, said he applauds the state parks department for being pro-active in upgrading the tower since it provides water to such a large area. "It is a very, very critical part of the Jones Beach area," said McDonough.
"It is an actual functioning water tower with 350,000 gallons of water in it that feeds all of Jones Beach so [the project] is pretty important to us," said Gorman. "It is pretty extensive work that we are now doing."