Post-Sandy Rethinking May Improve East River Waterfront in New York City
Hurricane Sandy flooded FDR Drive in New York City and took out a power station causing a major blackout. In an effort to avoid such impacts in the inevitable next storm, planners are looking at interesting new ideas to make the East River waterfront more resilient.
The East River Blueway Plan, a plan developed with input of residents and agencies, would improve storm defenses near the Brooklyn Bridge with marshes, beaches, sea walls and greenscaping to help absorb high storm levels and facilitate storm runoff. The plan also and to increase public access with new parkland and boat launch facilities. As Manhattan Borough President Stringer puts it, “What’s novel here is that we actually remedy some of the issues with storm surges through amenity enhancements for the public.”
The borough has set aside $3.5 million to begin implementing the plan. The plan — parts of it in the works for years as citizens looked to improve the waterfront — is likely to gain new momentum as post-Sandy funding to prioritize resilience becomes available.