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Stalled Repairs Restart

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site recently awarded a $199,000 contract to Chesterfield Associates, Inc. of Westhampton Beach for the reconstruction of the Eel Creek Boardwalk. The boardwalk, which provides the public with access to Sagamore Hill’s beach and salt marsh, was irreparably damaged during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Repairs were initially scheduled to start at the end of the summer.  

But Sagamore Hill wasn’t the only Long Island site in need of storm repairs, and a shortage of lumber—a direct result of an increased demand for supplies in the wake of Hurricane Sandy—forced a postponement. However, the work is set to begin now and be completed by Nov. 8. Funding for the project is part of $398 million of aid set aside to assist the National Park Service with recovery from the storm.

The refurbishment will require that the nature trail be closed to the public for the duration: October sliding into early November.

The reconstruction project will re-establish Sagamore Hill’s only public access to Cold Spring Harbor and the beach that Theodore Roosevelt and his family frequently visited for swimming and camping.  When finished, the 366-foot-long Eel Creek Boardwalk will allow visitors to view the picturesque harbor and the wildlife that frequent the site’s salt marsh.  The park’s coastline falls within the boundaries of the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge, the largest refuge in the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The waterfront is frequented by herons, belted kingfishers and osprey, and visitors will be able to view horseshoe crabs and daggerblade grass shrimp, among many other types of wildlife, from the completed boardwalk.