After Superstorm Sandy, Reclaiming the Waterfront is a Many-Layered Thing

The Villager: On Monday, the city released new design renderings of the recently overhauled East River Park resiliency plan. The $1.45 billion project, which would cover from Montgomery St. to E. 13th St., would bury East River Park with 8 feet of dirt and rebuild a new park on top of it, in order to protect the East Side from coastal flooding. The project would close the park for three-and-a-half years.

The new plan “enables us to build the project faster, delivering the flood protection for the community one hurricane season earlier,” said Jamie Torres-Springer, first deputy commissioner of the Department of Design and Construction.

The project calls for replacing three pedestrian bridges over the F.D.R. Drive, redoing the park amphitheater and adding waterfront access points.

At a community engagement meeting Monday night, Lower East Siders slammed Torres-Springer and Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver for attempting to cut short a question-and-answer period.

City officials tried to have attendees ask individual questions about renderings and options by adding suggestions on sticky notes — so-called “community engagement” techniques the city has done for years about the resiliency project. READ MORE>>