September 28, 2018
New plan will reduce construction time, transform East River Park and deliver flood protections for the East Side nearly a year earlier
Today, the de Blasio administration announced that the City will pursue an alternative design for part of the massive East Side Coastal Resiliency project in Lower Manhattan.
This updated design will enable flood protection to be implemented nearly one year earlier, and the entire project to be completed six months earlier, than the design that was previously considered. The updated design will raise the entire East River Park, with the flood wall at the water’s edge integrated with the bulkhead and esplanade that does not obstruct views to the water. The raising of the park also extends the protected area toward the waterline, greatly reducing the likelihood of the park itself being inundated during a storm.
To see how the projects compare and maps of the affected area, please see here.
Approximately 30% of the project will remain unchanged. The unchanged portions run between Montgomery and Cherry Streets and East 13th and East 25th Streets.
BENEFITS OF THE UPDATED DESIGN
Faster construction: The updated plan will shave approximately six months off the projected timeline and provide flood protections for residents nearly one full year sooner.
The adoption of the new design follows a value engineering study performed earlier this year and a review of the project by a panel of experts with experience from around the nation. Under the accelerated schedule construction will begin in spring 2020 and flood protection will be provided by summer 2023, in time for the year’s hurricane season.
Less disruptive construction: The new design shifts much of the heavy construction work away from residents who live near the FDR Drive toward the waterline, reducing construction noise in the community. It will also reduce traffic disruptions and night-time lane closures during construction. The new plan also makes it possible for construction materials to be brought to the site by barge.
Improved park access: The updated plan will allow the City to provide better connections to East River Park for community residents, with fewer walls between the park and the community. The design of this project will now also accommodate a separate project to address the East River Greenway pinch point near the ConEd facility (known as the Flyover Bridge). As previously planned, the project will also replace the Delancey Street and East 10th Street pedestrian bridges, and create a Houston Street entry plaza with direct connection to the water.
World-class park: The plan will lead to rebuilding Lower Manhattan’s largest park, East River Park. The new 40 acre greenspace will reflect and serve the community priorities, addressing their recreational needs by providing amenities that include eight baseball fields, three soccer fields, a running track, a multipurpose field, four and a half basketball courts, 12 tennis courts, and more; all while ensuring that this asset is not flooded from sea level rise and frequent storms.
The overall East Side Coastal Resiliency project seeks to establish flood protection on the east side of Manhattan from Montgomery Street north to East 25th Street, a distance of 2.4 miles. The City has already allocated $760 million toward East Side Coastal Resiliency. This includes funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which provided the City with $338 million in Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds.
The East Side Coastal Resiliency project team is led by the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC), Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), and the Mayor's Office of Recovery and Resiliency (ORR). Other agency partners include the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Department of City Planning (DCP), Small Business Services (SBS), and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).
The City will present the new approach to local elected officials, the Community Board, and other neighborhood stakeholders at upcoming meetings this fall. We will continue to take into account the feedback we have gathered throughout the engagement process on ESCR and there will be many opportunities for additional input on design elements moving forward.