Showing posts with label East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. Show all posts
Showing posts with label East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. Show all posts

Monday, August 22, 2022

Asbestos abatement to begin at the former East River Park amphitheater — 9 months after it was demolished

Nine months after workers demolished the East River Park amphitheater, asbestos abatement is starting this week at the site near Corlears Hook, the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) announced.

The work is expected to take place for the next four to six weeks during daytime hours, according to the weekly construction bulletin.
The abatement raised concern among some local residents and activists. From an Instagram post last week by 1000 People 1000 Trees: 
A little late, the amp was demolished by ESCR last year in December 2021 when, after we raised concerns, the DDC told us there was no asbestos at the amphitheater. 

For months the earth & foundation have been exposed. Video from March 2022 show no signs of protection against asbestos. @NYCDDC previously claimed there was no asbestos at the amp, yet now they announce asbestos abatement? 
For months the path used to access the Corlears Hook Ferry went through this area and is adjacent to the small patch of land, "passive lawn," that was set up as a replacement park which is currently open to the public. 
We asked Ian Michaels, a spokesperson for the DDC, about the abatement. 

"We had studied that structure and believed it to be asbestos-free. The Parks Department had also worked there in 2001 and said the same," Michaels said. "Then after the demolition of the above-ground structure, a new underground area was found. Work stopped, testing was done and asbestos was found on some pipe insulation in the new area. As a result, the job was stopped and a licensed asbestos abatement contractor has been hired to clean the site." 

Michaels shared a diagram showing where the new underground area was found, in a spot behind the amphitheater.
Here's more from the weekly construction bulletin about the asbestos work: 
[T]he public's safety is a priority and our team will ensure abatement work will be done in accordance with all local, state, and federal guidelines, and safely contain and dispose of material. In addition to the continued use of air monitors in the work area. 

The removal of materials containing asbestos will be completed by a subcontractor certified in asbestos removal, with environmental oversight performed by an independent consultant. The public may see workers in Tyvek suits as it is necessary for these individuals to wear protective gear because they will be in close proximity with the asbestos-containing materials on a daily basis. 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is also mandatory for their work. All asbestos materials will be isolated and contained in a fully enclosed Containment Zone, and within this zone, materials will be placed in sealed containers and trucked offsite. 
Meanwhile, this past Thursday, activists gathered outside local City Councilmember Carlina Rivera's East Village office calling for her resignation — and for her to drop out of the race for New York's open 10th Congressional District seat. 

To date, work on the $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency project in East River Park has focused on cutting down trees and demolishing the amenities, mostly below Stanton Street. Workers will bury the 57.5-acre land under fill and elevate it by 8-to-10 feet above sea level to protect the area from future storm surges. 

The city has said they will maintain public access to a minimum of 42 percent of the park throughout construction, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2026.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

The 6th Street pedestrian bridge over the FDR will be closed for the next 2 days

The Sixth Street pedestrian bridge, which connects residents from the East Village to the East River Park track and field, is expected to be closed tomorrow through Friday, according to the city's latest Weekly Construction Bulletin.
Per the notice: 
Ongoing Con Edison utility work in East River Park at the Greenway will necessitate a temporary closure of the E. 6th Street Bridge. All park amenities will remain. Access the park from E. Houston St. and the E. 10th St. Pedestrian Bridge. Pedestrian detour in effect. Please follow all posted signs.
As of 6:30 this evening, there weren't any posted signs letting the dozens of people who were heading to the Park know that they'd need to use a different route in the days ahead. The notice also doesn't specify the hours... does the bridge reopen on Friday? If so, when?

To date, work on the $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency project has focused on cutting down trees and demolishing all the amenities, mostly below Stanton Street. Workers will bury the 57.5-acre land under fill and elevate it by 8-to-10 feet above sea level to protect the area from future storm surges. 

The city has said they will maintain public access to a minimum of 42 percent of the park throughout construction, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2026.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Detour alert: The FDR will be closed overnight

In case a drive along the FDR was in your plans overnight and into tomorrow morning... both the northbound and southbound lanes of the FDR will be closed from midnight to 10 a.m. between Houston and Fulton so workers can remove the Corlears Hook Bridge as part of the ongoing East Side Coastal Resiliency Project.

Monday, April 25, 2022

City shrinks the size of the passive lawn in East River Park

EVG photos from Friday

This past week, workers fenced off nearly half of the passive lawn in the area near Corlears Hook (at the site of the former composting yard).

This came without any notice via the city's weekly Construction Bulletin. This week's edition states that this is for "Ongoing site preparation, including clearing and grubbing."
Late last week, workers cut down at least six trees on the perimeter, prompting queries from East River Park Action
Why is there a lawn here as a replacement for the park but it will be denuded of trees? People and animals will just spend the summer baking on the grass? These are not trivial questions. Trees are being killed for… what? This site is not even supposed to be elevated according to the DDC's ESCR...
Officials have said this field can serve as a dedicated space for nearby residents to use for recreation for the years the rest of the adjacent East River Park is gutted. 

The lawn, which opened in late January and appears to have some drainage issues, is accessible through a narrow passage marked by chainlink fences that leads from the Corlears Hook Pedestrian Bridge to the ferry. 

There isn't any signage pointing potential passive-lawn users to this space. (You need to go down to the ferry stop to find the entrance.) This may explain why few people have been spotted on the grass, excluding several dog owners walking their pets. 

The city has said they will maintain public access to a minimum of 42 percent of East River Park throughout construction, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2026. 

Friday, April 22, 2022

Friday's parting shots

Earth Day scenes from the former amphitheater at East River Park (above) ... and the former cherry tree grove in Corlears Hook Park...
Activists at the scene today said that workers yelled "Happy Earth Day" to them between cutting down more trees.
The trees are coming down as part of the ongoing $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency project.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

FDR closure alert: City removing last section of the Delancey Street footbridge Sunday morning

The remaining section of the Delancey Street footbridge over the FDR is coming down starting at midnight on Sunday. The FDR will be shut down in both directions until at least 10 a.m. 

Here's info from the latest Project Area 1 Construction notice:
On Sunday, March 27, 2022, 12:01 a.m. – 10 a.m. Delancey Street Pedestrian Bridge removal activities will necessitate overnight work and full closure of the FDR Drive northbound and southbound between Exit 2 (Brooklyn Bridge Manhattan Civic Center) and Exit 5 (E. Houston Street, Williamsburg Bridge). Vehicles should follow all posted signs and instruction from Traffic Enforcement Agents while detour is in effect.
Workers began dismantling the bridge in late January ... as part of the $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. The city will build a new Delancey Street Bridge in the years ahead. 

And starting on April 4, workers are expected to close part of Corlears Hook Park, where up to 50 trees are said to be coming down. 

Activists are planning a "General Assembly" at Corlears Hook Park Saturday afternoon at 2. Find more info here.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

A sign of spring amid the bulldozed remains of East River Park

Here's a look at East River Park from the Corlears Hook ferry access ... these photos are from Saturday and show where the amphitheater used to be...
Despite the barren terrain, we spotted some bulbs coming to the surface...
Meanwhile, there's a press conference tomorrow (March 9) at 9 a.m. at Corlears Hook Park to "call on NYC Parks to halt tree work permits." 

Starting next week, activists say the city is slated to cut down another 50 healthy mature trees from the immediate area. Speakers are expected to include District 1 City Councilmember Christopher Marte, per media invites. 

And as previously reported ... Since early December, work has focused on cutting down hundreds of mature trees and taking out amenities such as the tennis courts in Project Area 1 below Stanton Street. 

The current plans call for gutting East River Park — burying the existing 57.5-acre land under fill and elevating it by 8-to-10 feet above sea level. The new park is expected to protect the Lower East Side from storm surges until at least 2050. 

Park entry remains at Houston, 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, expected to be complete by the end of 2026.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

The remains of the Delancey Street Pedestrian Bridge

Workers started the late-night demolition of the Delancey Street Pedestrian Bridge the week of Jan. 24

Here's a look at what's left... the Park and neighborhood sides have been KO'd...
... just the section over the FDR remains ... (now how will they remove this without interrupting traffic on the beloved FDR?) ...
Also, according to the Weekly Construction Bulletin: "Construction activities will necessitate the closure of the sidewalk at Delancey Street between FDR Drive and Baruch Drive." 

Park entry remains at Houston, Sixth Street and 10th Street. Everything below Stanton Street is closed and demolished (save for the new passive lawn). 

For further reading, the February issue of The Brooklyn Rail has a piece on the $1.45-billion East Side Coastal Resiliency Project titled "Land Grab."

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Reader report: The new passive lawn in East River Park is a 'sodden mess'

Yesterday, we noted that the so-called "passive lawn" was set to open this week in the area near Corlears Hook ... at the site of the former composting yard. 

For starters, the field was said to actually debut last week for public use — a dedicated space for nearby residents to use for recreation for the years the rest of the adjacent East River Park is gutted. 

On Saturday, we were outside the passive lawn, accessible through a narrow passage marked by chainlink fences that leads from the Corlears Hook Pedestrian Bridge to the ferry. There wasn't any signage pointing potential passive-lawn users to this space. (You need to go down to the ferry stop to find the entrance.)
One EVG reader said that the Parks Enforcement Patrol hadn't received the opening memo ... and the reader was told to leave the space. 

Eve Josephson shared the top photo from dusk the other day... showing the little lakes on the lawn. She has walked on the property several times. 

"It is a sodden mess," she said. "The more you walk toward the center of the field, the more you sink into the muck." 

Workers, who started on this in late October, apparently didn't account for drainage (an issue with the previous Compost Yard here too).

"In essence," she said, "the passive field is unusable." 

The city has said they will maintain public access to a minimum of 42 percent of East River Park throughout construction, expected to be complete by the end of 2026.

Monday, January 24, 2022

The latest at East River Park: night work at Delancey; passive lawn set to debut


According to the weekly construction bulletin, night work begins in East River Park at Delancey. 

The work is scheduled to take place between 3 p.m. and midnight for the next four weeks: "Construction operations necessitate extended work hours to dismantle the park-side ramp of the Delancey Street Pedestrian Bridge. Noise and air monitors will be in place prior to the start of these activities," the bulletin states.

The Delancey Street pedestrian has been closed since early December. The arrow in this photo shows where the demolition will be taking place... 
This won't be the first time for nighttime construction/demolition in East River Park as part of the $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency project. Work went around the clock on a weekend in December — also in defiance of a Temporary Restraining Order. (There wasn't any mention of late-night work in that week's construction bulletin for residents.)

Meanwhile, weather permitting, the "passive lawn" south of the now-gutted amphitheater is expected to open this week in the former compost area. Residents will access this section via the Corlears Hook Pedestrian Bridge, where passengers access the ferry.

Here are two views of the passive lawn, as seen on Saturday...
... the city even left a few trees for this space...
Updated: A reader said the passive lawn opened last week. (There doesn't appear to be any signage for it — at least I didn't see any.) And there are puddles of water on the lawn because there isn't any drainage...

Also, from Saturday ... here's the scorched-earth site of the former amphitheater... (click on the images for a bigger view)... 
The city is to replace the now-demolished structure, which dated to 1941, with a smaller one at the exact location. In June, the city came up with $4.83 million to include a roof over the new amphitheater. (This post has more details.)

Since early December, work has focused on cutting down dozens of mature trees and taking out amenities such as the tennis courts in Project Area 1 below Stanton Street.

The current plans call for gutting East River Park — burying the existing 57.5-acre land under fill and elevating it by 8-to-10 feet above sea level. The new park is expected to protect the Lower East Side from storm surges until at least 2050. 

Park entry remains at Houston, 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, expected to be complete by the end of 2026.

Community members opposed to the current version of the city's floodproofing plan for East River Park continue to gather daily at 1 p.m. at the Houston Street entrance.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Tree sitters take to East River Park

Photos by Daniel Efram 

In the pre-dawn hours on Monday, a group of activists gathered in a blustery East River Park to continue to bring awareness to the destruction taking place as part of the $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency project

Group members draped "Protect Me" banners on several of the oldest trees along the greenway just north of the active worksite that starts at Stanton Street... eventually, five people positioned themselves in the trees for several hours ...
Yesterday, the @1000people1000trees account reported that workers cut down a tree in the greenway but stopped their attempts on another tree when more group members arrived.

The group issued a statement on Monday that read in part:
Concerned community members have come together in protection of East River Park from this ecocide needlessly being carried out by the City with an extraordinary lack of safety measures in light of unprecedented conditions created by the COVID-19 surge and in the absence of any State, City or Federal official or Agency willing to claim responsible environmental oversight. In response to these calamitous conditions, we are opposed to any further areas of the park being fenced off and subsequently demolished. 
Community members opposed to the current version of the city's floodproofing plan for East River Park gather daily this week at 7 a.m. at the Houston Street entrance...

Monday, January 3, 2022

East River Park greenway now closing up to 10th Street

Starting today, the greenway that runs parallel to the FDR and along East River Park will shut down up to 10th Street Street, according to the weekly construction bulletin. 

Workers closed the greenway between Montgomery and Stanton streets starting on Dec. 6. The bulletin notes that workers will "finish protective fence installation" along this corridor. (Click on the image below for more detail) ...
Park entry will remain at Houston, 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, expected to be complete by the end of 2026.

To date, work on the $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency project has focused on cutting down trees and demolishing all the amenities (for a while in defiance of a Temporary Restraining Order), including the amphitheater, below Stanton Street.

On Dec. 31, photo-journalist Nathan Kensinger filed a "Goodbye To East River Park" essay for Gothamist.

An excerpt from the article highlights the slapdash nature of the work to date:
The de Blasio administration has left behind a decidedly mixed climate change legacy, and one of its largest shortcomings has been falling behind on billions of dollars of coastal infrastructure projects initiated in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. This last-minute destruction of East River Park has proved to be disruptive and lacks the transparency and safety measures usually seen at city demolition and construction sites.

Visitors to the park, including bicyclists, joggers, skateboarders and wheelchair-bound retirees, were left befuddled by the sudden closure of its southern entrances and paths.

No official construction signs, project descriptions or permits were mounted at the demolition sites. Clouds of dust rose up from the removal of the amphitheater's aged concrete, behind a flimsy barrier of dilapidated fences and caution tape.

As one of the final acts of the de Blasio administration, the demolition of East River Park marks the last chapter in the mayor's climate change legacy, ending his term on a controversial note, and leaving his successor with a messy process that will take years to complete.
The current plans call for gutting East River Park — burying the existing 57.5-acre land under fill and elevating it by 8-to-10 feet above sea level while also cutting down 1,000 mature trees. The new park is expected to protect the Lower East Side from storm surges until at least 2050. 

However, as the Gothamist piece notes, "if sea levels rapidly rise, the park may need to be demolished and raised again."

---

Concerned community members are gathering this morning at 8 at the Houston Street entrance. They are coming together "in protection of East River Park from this ecocide needlessly being carried out by the City with an extraordinary lack of safety measures in light of unprecedented conditions created by the COVID-19 surge and in the absence of any State, City or Federal Official or Agency willing to claim responsible environmental oversight."

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Workers have demolished the East River Park amphitheater

Workers have finished demolishing the East River Park amphitheater. 

EVG regular Daniel Efram shared these photos yesterday... 
The city is to replace the existing structure, which dates to 1941, with a smaller one at the exact location. In June, the city came up with $4.83 million to include a roof over the new amphitheater. (Our last post has more details.)

Meanwhile, workers continue to cut down the trees in East River Park below Stanton Street as part of the $1.45-billion East Side Coastal Resiliency Project. Up to 1,000 mature trees are expected to come down in total.
The city has said that some 2,000 new trees will be planted in the reconstructed park, per a previously published statement.

Activists opposed to this version of the city's floodproofing plan continue to gather daily at 1 p.m. just south of the Houston Street entrance...

Friday, December 24, 2021

The end of the East River amphitheater

The demolition of East River Park below Stanton Street continues as part of the $1.45-billion East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR).

Social media posts show that workers have been focusing on the amphitheater in recent days.

"I saw some photos online of the amphitheater tragically getting gutted earlier this week, and I wanted to say goodbye before it was completely gone," EVG reader Shane Fleming told me in an email.

So yesterday around sunset, Shane went in for a closer look and shared the following photos. As you can see, the trees surrounding the amphitheater have been cut down, and the seats have also been removed. Only the bandshell remains for now.

"I spent many wonderful afternoons growing up at this amphitheater, and it's crushing to see it go like this," he said.
Here's some history of the amphitheater via the Parks Department website:
In 1941, an amphitheater was built in the park, along with an adjacent limestone recreational building, as part of an urban renewal project for the Lower East Side. During the 1950s, the amphitheater was the site of frequent free Evening-in-the-Park concerts. Joseph Papp (1921-1991), founder of Shakespeare in the Park and the Public Theater, staged Julius Caesar there in 1956. Local schools held their graduation ceremonies there, and the Group of Ancient Drama staged free-of-charge performances of classic Greek plays...
The city is to replace the existing structure with a smaller one at the exact location. (The currently gutted space could seat an estimated 2,500; based on the renderings, the new one looks to hold 400.) In June, the city came up with $4.83 million to include a roof over the new amphitheater

The city has previously estimated that all work will be completed in East River Park by the end of 2026.

Our previous post has more about what's been happening with ESCR to date.