Southampton to reopen Old Ponquogue Bridge later this fall

Work Begins At Beaches, Finishing At Town Bridge

Work at Hot Dog Beach in East Quogue, which includes the building of a deck with two access points and benches, will be completed by the end of this year. Independent/Desirée Keegan

Construction at Ponquogue Beach’s pavilion in Hampton Bays has already commenced, with a groundbreaking scheduled for some time within the next two weeks.

Southampton Town Deputy Superintendent Frank Zappone updated the town board during a work session meeting October 4 that beach upgrades in Hampton Bays and at East Quogue’s Hot Dog Beach are on schedule, with the work in Quogue expected to be completed by the end of the year.

“We’re making great progress,” Zappone said.

The reconstruction work at the pavilion comes in at $3.3 million, and includes general construction, plumbing and electric. There will also be the addition of a new attendance booth; repairs to the parking lot, including adding additional drainage; formation of a rain garden; and completion of bathroom and shower updates. The $565,000 worth of work at Hot Dog Beach is comprised of construction of deck with two access points, benches for seating, five handicap parking spaces, and a handicap ramp to make the area Americans with Disabilities Act compliant.

Restoration of Ponquogue Bridge is also on schedule, with the bridge tentatively reopening later this fall. The $1.9 million project began last year, more than five years after Hurricane Sandy damaged the old bridge. The north side of the structure, more significantly damaged by the storm, will be stabilized, leaving a 21-foot-wide, 61-foot-long fishing pier. The repairs will also improve access on the south side of the bridge.

Supervisor Jay Schneiderman discussed hosting two ribbon cuttings, one above and below water.

“It’s a popular scuba-diving spot,” Schneiderman said. “And there’s a few certified divers on the board — I think that would be a fun thing to try to do.”

Schneiderman and Councilman John Bouvier plan to cut the underwater ribbon.