East River Park below Stanton Street shuts down today as the most significant work to date gets underway here on the $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency project.
According to the weekly construction bulletin, these park amenities will now be locked up to the public: the amphitheater, southern athletic fields, basketball courts, lawn and water play area, Delancey Street Bridge, Brian Watkins Tennis Center, and the dance circle.
The bulletin states that the work includes "installation of protective fences and site preparation, including clearing and grubbing." East River Park Action reported that the city will start cutting down the trees in this area south of Stanton as early as tomorrow. Under the city's resiliency plan, they'll need to remove 1,000 trees in total from East River Park.
Click on the map below for more details ... everything within the pinkish zone is closed as of today...
Park amenities north of Stanton Street will remain open for public use, with access at East Houston Street, Sixth Street and 10th Street. The city has said they will maintain public access to a minimum of 42 percent of the park throughout construction.
Last week, the Appellate Division lifted the Temporary Restraining Order from Nov. 2 that had been in effect to halt construction.
Work began in Project Area 1 — between Montgomery Street and East 15th Street — on Nov. 1, focusing on the Brian Watkins Tennis Center.
As previously reported, the former Compost Yard was converted into green space to make up for some of the lost park access during construction/demolition over the next four-plus years. This lawn area is expected to be open for public use by the end of 2021. (The photo below is from Saturday.) Work continues in Project Area 2 between East 15 Street and 25th Street, including Asser Levy Playground, Stuyvesant Cove Park and Murphy Brothers Playground.
Construction on the East Side is expected to wrap up by the end of 2026.
Read our previous posts for more background on the ESCR and the opposition and controversy over the city's current plan.
East River Park Action and other activists say they will continue to fight for alternatives to preserve much of the park and provide interim flood control.
Updated 11 a.m.
There are reports of police arresting activists at the scene. The @1000people1000trees account is providing updates from the park.
Updated 5 p.m.
According to Gothamist, there were three arrests today. Activists say they plan to be back at it tomorrow.
PIX11 has coverage here.