New seawall protects nursing homes residents

(l-r) Sr. Claudette Jayszczynski; Msgr. Thomas E. Gilleece; Sr. Seline M. Flores, Providence Rest CEO; Susan Steinberg, Providence Rest administrator; Senator Jeff Klein; Tom Messina, from Congressman Joe Crowley’s office and Providence Rest board members Dr. Anne Casey and Joseph Sciame.
Photo by Silvio Pacifico

Residents at a local nursing home are now going to be protected from the waters’ edge by a brand new $1.8 million seawall.

The retaining wall was officially dedicated with a blessing and ribbon cutting at Providence Rest nursing home in Country Club on Wednesday, November 4 with more than a dozen residents in wheelchairs, and staff, looking on.

The roughly 630-foot structure, a steel-sheet piling running behind the existing, but frequently compromised wall, includes a concrete cap and parapet.

About 350 cubic yard of crushed stone was placed between the older wall and the new one.

The project was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the tune of $318,207 by the state legislature after Superstorm Sandy, and a $1,564,654 federal block grant.

According to Providence Rest administrator Susan Steinberg, Senator Jeff Klein played a key role in securing the state funds and throughout the entire process.

“When the New York State Legislature approved federal emergency funds allocated for Sandy relief in 2013, Senator Klein worked to ensure that Providence Rest would receive its piece of the pie,” said Steinberg.

“Providence Rest applied for a Super Storm Sandy Block Grant from New York State in 2014 to rebuild rather than simply repair the seawall, and requested FEMA approve the expanded scope of work and apply the allocated funds to the larger project.”

In her remarks, she likened Senator Klein’s advocacy in the state legislature to the seawall itself, calling him the nursing home’s ‘protector’ in the state senate.

During the ceremony, Klein said that the completion of the new barrier, three years after Superstorm Sandy, was a long time coming.

“With the help of more than $300,000 in funding I worked to secure, Providence Rest was able to not just repair, but completely replace their seawall,” he said.

The senator called the nursing home a special place, and said he wants to see it remain that way.

Work on the wall began in the later part of 2014 and was completed fairly recently.

It was completed as soon as it could have been, and could not have come sooner, with one of Providence Rest’s buildings, its Ferrari Pavilion, about 23 feet from Eastchester Bay.

During the celebration on November 4, Msgr. Thomas Gilleece gave the invocation and blessing. Sr. Seline Flores, the CEO of Providence Rest, provided the welcoming remarks.

The seawall is part of ongoing efforts in the east Bronx waterfront to make it more resilient from future storms.

The rebuilding effort taps into funds from FEMA, private sources and an initiative begun by Governor Cuomo called New York Rising that allocated about $3 million to spend on capital improvements.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.
This photo shows the breached seawall at Providence Rest as Superstorm Sandy receded about three years ago. The new wall has now been installed.
Photo courtesy of Providence Rest

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