A decades-old eyesore on Bennett Beach finally has come tumbling down.
County crews this week finished demolishing and removing the old bathhouse foundation wall, which has stood at the entrance to the beach on Old Lake Shore Road in Angola for years.
It has long been a public safety hazard and a target for graffiti.
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz called the removal of the wall the biggest improvement at Bennett Beach in many years.
“The Parks Department was able to accomplish something that many thought could never be done, and they got it done in a short period of time,” Poloncarz said. “I commend everyone involved on a job very well done, and one that will benefit all who use this beach.”
In April, Erie County Parks Commissioner Troy Schinzel began investigating what it would take to remove the wall. He worked with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Town of Evans to get the proper permits.
The county Highway Department brought heavy equipment to the site two weeks ago to demolish and dispose of the wall, then restore the site. The project, which also involved workers from Erie County’s Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department, was finished Wednesday.
It was one of many improvements at Bennett this year.
In the spring, the comfort station was renovated, while parking lot improvements are currently under way, Schinzel said.
Next year, the county is looking at replacing beach amenities, such as picnic tables and grills, and possibly adding signs and fencing to protect the sand dunes at the beach.