Jones Beach to Get $65M Upgrade


The Jones Beach traffic circle on Ocean Parkway looking north. The parkway opened between Meadowbrook and Wantagh parkways two weeks ago before the rest of Ocean Parkway reopened Monday. (Kevin Kane)
The Jones Beach traffic circle on Ocean Parkway looking north. (Kevin Kane)

Jones Beach State Park is slated to get $65 million in upgrades over the next five years to restore Long Island’s most popular beach in time for its 85th anniversary, officials said.

The proposed Jones Beach Revitalization Plan will improve parkway entrances, increase food and beverage options, add recreational activities as well as rehabilitate the East and West Bathhouses and Central Mall buildings—all while storm-hardening its facilities.

“Jones Beach visitors have a real romanticism with this park,” said Rose Harvey commissioner of the state office of parks, recreation and historic preservation. “We are primed to fund this Revitalization Plan so that Jones Beach can be enjoyed by future generations.”

The plan—outlines in a 13-page report released Thursday—is part of $90 million in capital improvements proposed in the state budget, which lawmakers have signaled should pass by the April 1 deadline.

Parks officials said the project will increase visitation to Jones Beach, which is already one of the most-visited state parks with 6-to-8-million visitors annually on average.

Aside from restoring historic structures—some of which the state shuttered during the recession, others that have long been neglected—the redesign will allow vendors to offer more diverse food with patio dining, a diner, take-out, café and market.

The market is planned for the site of the former boardwalk restaurant where Donald Trump wanted to build a catering hall—a plan he dropped after Sandy.

A proposed new recreation area would feature an “adventure play area complete with water features, rock climbing and a zipline,” officials said in a news release. That will add to offerings such as volleyball, soccer, cricket, miniature golf and yoga.

New and existing structures as well as utilities will be raised to mitigate flooding as well.

Some of the modifications may be completed in time for this beach season, which unofficially starts on Memorial Day Weekend with the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach that kicks off the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater summer concert series.