The folks at LUNGS (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens) are spreading the word — as seen in the holiday-themed flyers above — about the city's new plans to storm-proof East River Park.
Details emerged earlier this fall (city press release here) about the updated construction phase to protect the East Side against catastrophic flooding along the East River from Montgomery Street to 25th Street. (Most of the changes occur between Cherry Street and 13th Street.)
As reported in October, the-now $1.45 billion project raises East River Park by up to 10 feet when work starts in March 2020. To do this, though, the city will need to close East River Park for up to three and a half years, bulldozing all the current amenities, including the new running track and soccer field.
The previous storm-proofing as part of the East Side Coastal Resiliency Plan would have required closing a lane of the FDR and working around Con Edison power lines. However, city officials have said that building out the flood protection and reconstructing the park on top would eliminate these issues as well as speed up the construction process by one hurricane season.
The city's two public meetings earlier this month on the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project apparently didn't do much to educate the public on its revised plans or provide adequate time for feedback.
Per the LUNGS website:
Very complicated plans were presented for 45 minutes and the public was asked to respond for 30 minutes and fill out stick ’ems to be put on printed drafts and proposed construction diagrams. That was the extent of the public involvement. There has been no transparency in this process.
The Villager and Town & Village have recaps from these meetings.
Per The Villager:
[I]t took the city four years to realize the pitfalls of the previous plan, to the chagrin of locals and Downtown politicians, who have several unanswered questions.
“Part of the problem is the city can’t answer basic questions about why this is necessary and what range of options they’ve considered to protect this community for resiliency,” said state Senator Brian Kavanagh. Kavanagh sent a joint letter with nine other Manhattan pols to the Mayor’s Office last week outlining their concerns.
“On some level, the proposal here today is to destroy this park in order to save it,” Kavanagh said. “And if we could be persuaded that this is the only way to protect the community from catastrophic storms, that would be a good start to this conversation, but unfortunately this city, after many years of planning, decided without consultation to scrap the original plan and announce an entirely new plan.”
At the meetings, the city released new design renderings of the revised resiliency plan. (You can find the 57-page PDF of the new plan at this link.)
Here is a rendering showing the finalized area around Delancey, including a new pedestrian overpass...
... and a look at areas between Sixth Street and 10th Street...
According to The Villager, the new resiliency plan could begins its months-long Uniform Land Use Review Procedure as early as this coming spring ... with construction starting in March 2020 and lasting through the fall of 2023.
On the flyers posted at neighborhood community gardens, LUNGS is encouraging residents to submit feedback on the new plan. You may submit comments to the city via this link. LUNGS has more ways for residents to get involved at this link.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: The reality of storm-proofing East River Park in 2020