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Oyster Bay Tests “Laser Probes” on Beach Tunnels

By Chris O’Neill

The beach tunnels in the Town of Oyster Bay just got a technologically cutting-edge probe for their structural integrity, when the Town brought in a firm employing ground penetrating “pulsed laser” technology.

Last week, the firm of MJ Engineering was deployed to the Town of Oyster Bay beaches in Bayville and the south shore to probe the concrete walls and ceiling of the tunnels that connect the parking lots to the beaches.

The probes utilize the latest technology incorporating a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (LiDAR) to document the structural integrity of the beach tunnels.

The laser probes eliminate the need to do expensive drillings and borings to examine the integrity of the concrete

Oyster Bay needs a detailed, high-resolution survey of the aging pedestrian tunnels, and MJ’s president and CEO, Michael Panichelli, offered to provide such probe data to Oyster Bay at no cost to taxpayers.

The MJ crews mapped the tunnels with a shoulder-mounted VLX scanner gathering mobile LIDAR data and 360-degree, high-resolution photography. Using the data and imagery, they then created a digital 3-D image of the tunnels for the Town, in a user-friendly web application.

“We are delighted to showcase this powerful technology to the Town of Oyster Bay,” Panichelli said. “Equipped with the MJ4D data, Oyster Bay can plan for future improvements and monitor changes in the tunnels’ conditions over time.”

MJ has previously used their technology to scan the triple cantilever section of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, as well as the MTA’s east river subway tunnels impacted by Super Storm Sandy. The firm ( has a local office in Levittown, and local employees based in Bayville.

Encouraged by the business-friendly environment and forward-looking leadership in Nassau County, MJ is excited to increase their local presence.


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