Monday, June 14, 2021

Details on the additional funding for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project

The city has announced new details about plans for East River Park after the years-long gutting commences later this year. 

According to an announcement by Mayor de Blasio and published reports, additional funding — totaling $145 million — will allow for a new amphitheater (with roof), more amenities at Murphy Brothers Playground and a flyover bridge for the narrow bikeway at 14th Street.

In addition, Deputy Mayor Vicki Been confirmed in a letter that the Lower East Side Ecology Center's compost yard would be able to return to its longtime home upon completion of the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project.
NY1 had more details on the amphitheater: 
The reconstruction project ... was set to demolish the current amphitheater and replace it with a smaller stage, albeit one without a roof... 

Now, an infusion of $4.83 million that was announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio will allow the city to create a roof structure for the amphitheater, said Ian Michaels, the executive director of public information for the city’s Department of Design and Construction, which is overseeing much of the park's overhaul. 
City Hall did not respond to a question about where the funding is coming from.

Michael Marino, the founder of Friends of Corlears Hook Park, which is across the FDR from the amphitheater, told this to NY1: "I don't think it should have taken this long for this to happen. I feel like every once in a while, after years of the community complaining about something, we get a little crumb, and that's supposed to appease us."
Marino said he is pleased that the amphitheater will have a cover of some kind, but is still concerned that the current plan does not include bathrooms or sufficient seating for performances. 

 A covered amphitheater would offer "that grandiose vision" for people entering the park, he said. 
Renderings of the new amphitheater show that it is considerably smaller than the current version, which can seat an estimated 2,500. Instead, the new space looks to hold 400.

Here is the list of other "improvements" that the city announced back on Thursday:

• $5.8 million to build a comfort station at Murphy Brothers Playground, a 1.27-acre park at Avenue C and East 17th Street. The playground was already scheduled to receive updated recreation facilities and flood protection. Other improvements to the playground will include a new basketball court, new synthetic turf ballfields, a new dog run, a new power source for the existing Little League scoreboard, and enhanced landscaping.

• $129 million, in a separate capital project, to the Department of Transportation to fully fund a future flyover bridge that will improve bike and pedestrian access through this critical part of the Greenway. The bridge will span the "pinch point" area of the Manhattan Greenway as it passes 14th Street along the East River, where the Greenway narrows to just a few feet wide to fit between the river, the FDR Drive and adjacent Con Edison facilities. The bridge construction will be coordinated with ESCR.

The announcements aren't likely to appease opponents of the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, who have demanded a "real environmental review" of the $1.45 billion plan to protect the Lower East Side and surrounding neighborhoods from a 100-year-flood event and sea-level rise. 

Opponents of the city's current plan — where workers will raze the 57.5-acre plot of land, bulldozing 1,000 mature trees and rebuilding the park atop eight feet of landfill — say there are better ways to preserve the park and provide flood protection, such as the one mapped out in the years after Sandy.

In late 2018, the city surprised community stakeholders by announcing a complete overhaul of a plan discussed over four years of local meetings.

In October 2019, the city announced that they would phase in the construction, so only portions of the park are closed to the public at any given time. According to various reportsthe city has committed to leaving a minimum of 42 percent of East River Park open to the public. It is projected to be completed in 2025, a timetable opponents say will never be met.

As previously reported, the lowest bids have come in, and they've already exceeded the budget by $73 million, which doesn't cover the entire project. To date, the city has yet to select a contractor, a process mired in a lawsuit at the moment.


Choresh Wald said...

129 Million Dollars to build a whole new bridge instead of narrowing the FDR Drive few feet to widen the East River path. The timing of the announcement is of course to coincide with Early voting that started Saturday at Campos Plaza (go vote!).

Giovanni said...

The bulldozing of your community will continue until morale improves.

Anonymous said...

Rip bandaid off, start building now. After the nimby community councils finish henpecking this thing, it'll be 2035, cost $50B and our neighborhood will have been flooded twice more.

Anonymous said...

Classic Half-Measure Feckless Bill, just dead set on taking away the park and giving us something lesser.

noble neolani said...

Honey, I'm not sorry I'm destroying your park but here is a coupon for a new diamond bracelet to shut you up.

Anonymous said...

NIMBY refers to something that could be in a different neighborhood but you don't want it in your neighborhood. This isn't about building a development, this is about taking away a public park space for at least a decade, destroying 1,000 (1/2 the mature trees on the LES) that clean our air and making that decision unilaterally without community input. The baby replacement trees will take decades to start cleaning our air.
We want a flood plan and there was a community involved plan before the city took it away.
For whatever reason the current administration decided to do this project with a redacted report, denying the community full disclosure that would help us to decide what's best for our community. NIMBY is a false narrative being spread around to deny serious community concerns about what seems to be a reckless plan possibly with hidden, undisclosed incentives.
Destroying 1,000 mature trees is "not healthy for children and other living things."

Anonymous said...

"NIMBY is a false narrative being spread around to deny serious community concerns about what seems to be a reckless plan possibly with hidden, undisclosed incentives."

Correct. This is your typical REBNY/Construction union troll who always always appears on this type of thread to deflect from the real issue which was the community based plan that addressed Sandy type climate change storms without destroying the Park. As noted that plan has been thrown to the wind by BdB and the CC.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather have trees. Nice try to appease people but it's missing the point. Nobody wants a fake plastic parks department yuppie park. Keep the nature. Destroying nature to save environment is absurd. Build an ivy covered wall next to the access roadway and stfu.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 10:32 - well said. I feel we are dismissed each time someone yells NIMBY without bothering to consider what this project really means and why we are so angry about it.

There WAS a perfectly good plan that was approved by all. Then the Mayor decided to destroy the entire park.

Anonymous said...

@choresh you can't just narrow a major roadway, that makes no sense. however, I agree with you there are better solutions than this mess.

noble neolani said...

@ Anonymous 11:06 AM

Your name might be hidden but we all know that you work in real-estate and or for big developers.

Anonymous said...

I cannot fucking stand our mayor. What a pathetic, self-serving loser. I am the ultimate fool in voting for him twice. I guess the joke is on me. This entire project has corruption and dark money written all over it. If this isn't intended to ultimately cater to the ultra wealthy and powerful with erected condos on this newly elevated piece of land, I don't know what is. I have a friend with the city who has referred to this coast project as the Highline East where contractors have already been reached out to for property development. Just watch. It will take ten years not five and end up costing 250 billion dollars perhaps more. It will eliminate hundreds of trees and green spaces. Nearby residents such as myself searching for respite and fresh ocean breezes will have no where to go for a decade. Thanks DeDorkio. We really appreciate your hard work and efforts.

noble neolani said...

Anyone want to bet that all the public housing which now overlooks the park will be condemned just before the Di Blasio park is finished? The next mayor will most like follow the Bloomberg/DiBlasio path of gifting public land to developers (Hudson Yards) creating Dubai on the East River with 100 story glass towers for the rich.

Anonymous said...

@noble - the developers already have their foot in the door as far as building luxury high-rises along the East River:

There is so much more destruction planned for the east side than the demo of the park. This is just the beginning.

Anonymous said...

This is such a stupid poorly thought out plan. Cutting down all those trees and tearing up the East River park which will deny access to LES/EV residents for years along with inevitable cost overruns and time delays. It would be so much simpler, quicker and far less expensive to build a sea wall barrier along side of the north bound FDR drive and the East River Park walkway. There is plenty of room for it and it would be much less destructive to the park.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the criticism of the Mayor and plans to destroy out park to save it. But the land being developed in Hudson Yards is privately owned, or in the case of development over the rail yards, development rights purchased from the MTA. The City fronted the money to build the #7 train extension and new roadway (which did involve condemnation to acquire land) and is being paid back by the increase in property tax on the developments being built.

Anonymous said...

"Your name might be hidden but we all know that you work in real-estate and or for big developers."

11.06 AM here. Oh yeah 11.53 AM. So I'M the REBNY troll? I just blasted the current East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. I said 10.32 AM's post was correct.


Anonymous said...

Carlina supported this new plan and Erin Hussein opposes it, just saying. Carlina also supported the Tech Hub.

Anonymous said...

She also recently supported the "development" of Governor's Island.

Anonymous said...

The trees are in all the wrong places, the park is objectively the ugliest of all the Manhattan-riverside parks, the playgrounds suck, the asphalt is crumbling, sports facilities terrible. Rip it all up and start over, as fast as possible! I know that preservationists will knee-jerk preserve / nostalgize everything - but this is like those people that love the rat lot on first ave between 5th and 6th. "Save the rat lot!"

What do you want - ten years of construction, cost overruns and hassle for a park full of bad compromises? Or three years of pain followed by brand-new awesome park that we deserve?

I'm no rebny shill. Just a 15-year EV resident who can't believe people aren't fighting to get a better park faster. Let's goooo!

Anonymous said...

The NYCHA community leaders with whom I've spoken said they made it clear they expected the new amphitheater to be able to support the same kinds of programming as the existing. I'd bet that the officials that developed the new plans didn't mention the fact that the capacity would be cut to 15%. That's why all the renderings show the space empty but for a handful of pedestrians. Good luck getting SummerStage to book the new amphitheater if it can't hold more than a few hundred people. This is a classic example of the public engagement process being used to make people feel heard, all while they're being ignored.

Anonymous said...

Trees in the wrong places? LOL
It's not about nostalgia, these 80 year old East River Park trees survived Hurricane Sandy, act as windbreakers, their roots absorb storm water and they're absorbing carbon dioxide protecting our health.
The replacement trees won't provide that same protection for decades.
A small section of the park was recently upgraded. It was expected to take only 2 or 3 years but it took 10, that area of East River Park is set to be demolished for the current plan.
If asphalt is in need of repair or maintenance, ok.
But, total destruction of the park?
57 acres of public space being taken away for at least 10 years is tragic and without those nearly 1,000 mature trees, asthma rates will surely soar.

Anonymous said...

Is there a site where a voter can understand the various candidates positions on East River Park ecocide?

Anonymous said...

Rivera supports it Hussein does not.

Anonymous said...
"In a first-of-its-kind study, NASA has calculated the individual driving forces of recent climate change through direct satellite observations. And consistent with what climate models have shown for decades, greenhouse gases and suspended pollution particles in the atmosphere, called aerosols, from the burning of fossil fuels are responsible for the lion's share of modern warming.

In other words, NASA has proven what is driving climate change through direct observations — a gold standard in scientific research."

East River Park is keeping us safe.
Rivera and DiBlasio support demolishing the park and nearly 1,000 of its trees.

Hussein, Boylan, Bragg, Patel, Marte have shown support for our community!

Octaviolet said...

This is 1000% what is going to happen. One percent for every tree they kill.