Politico: The de Blasio administration will announce more changes Wednesday to a massive flood barrier planned for the Lower East Side in an effort to mollify opposition to the city’s proposal, further extending the timeline of a project that has already seen multiple alterations and delays, according to information obtained by POLITICO and a source briefed on the new measures.
The latest plan will allow residents near the shoreline to use roughly half of East River Park at all times during the multiyear construction process. Under a previous blueprint, the entire park was set to be shuttered for 3.5 years. The shift comes a day before the project is set for a public hearing at the City Council, which must approve several land-use actions to allow it to move forward.
“This is the result of more than a year of discussions between the City Council and the administration,” said Council Member Keith Powers, who represents part of the affected area. “We have always believed that we can do coastal resiliency and preserve open space. This plans get us much further in those shared goals.”
To fortify lower Manhattan against future storm surges, the city is planning a series of flood walls and berms running around the bottom of the island. The first phase of the effort, called the East Side Coastal Resiliency Plan, is slated to run from East 13th Street in the north down to Montgomery Street in the south.
As part of the process, the city is planning to elevate East River Park. Residents who live near the greenspace, however, had chafed at the city’s construction timeline. And opponents began pressuring local Council members to vote against the plan.
For months, the city declined to budge. However, Mayor Bill de Blasio visited the site of the project Friday, and afterward gave the green light to his team to reconfigure construction phasing, according to a source familiar with the process. Over the weekend and early this week, the particulars of the new timeline were hashed out and presented to concerned parties. Read more>>