County Officials Expect Cupsogue Beach To Reopen By Week’s End

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After being closed to the public for nearly a month following a massive fire that destroyed a popular food and music venue, Cupsogue Beach County Park could reopen by the end of the week.

The park, located on the westernmost end of Dune Road, just west of West Hampton Dunes Village, has been closed since a September 13 fire leveled the Cupsogue Beach Hut, leaving a large pile of burnt wood next to the park’s main parking lot where the restaurant and music venue once stood.

Suffolk County Police still have not determined the cause of the fire, although a spokeswoman for the department said the investigation is not being treated as a criminal matter.

Blocked off by a barricade of orange cones and an electric sign proclaiming its closed status, the park has been nonoperational because the county does not want people to injure themselves by trying walk or climb on the debris, Parks Commissioner Greg Dawson said. He explained that he had wanted to devise a strategy for removing the debris before reopening the park, a task that has proved to be more time consuming than he anticipated.

Instead, the county will install temporary fencing around the charred remains of the Cupsogue Beach Hut to secure it, Mr. Dawson said. Once that is completed, the park can reopen to visitors—including surfcasters who have been waiting for weeks to access the outer beach through the county facility.

“We thought the opening was going to be imminent, but it’s not, so we have to make adjustments,” Mr. Dawson said. “We’re just trying to figure out the logistics of getting the debris out of there safely.”

Additional security might also be assigned to the park, Mr. Dawson said, adding that he expects the venue to reopen by the end of the week.

The task of removing the debris now is in the hands of the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, according to Mr. Dawson. The county has put the project out to bid and has secured a contractor, although Mr. Dawson said he does not know what company was hired or how much they will be paid. DPW Commissioner Gilbert Anderson could not be immediately reached for comment this week.

Mr. Dawson said he expects things to go back to “business as usual” once the park reopens.

Although an official timetable hasn’t been set, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has vowed to rebuild the beach hut and have at least a temporary stand ready by next summer.

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