City Officially Breaks Ground on $1.45B East Side Coastal Resiliency Project

Photo: DDC

Posted on April 20, 2021

After an initial delay, the contested $1.45 billion East Side Coastal Resiliency Project is set to break ground in the coming days. All against a backdrop of legal filings and vociferous community opposition.

“Building a recovery for all of us means fighting climate change and investing in resilient communities,” Mayor de Blasio stated in a press release yesterday. “This project will keep generations of New Yorkers safe from extreme weather, coastal storm, and rising sea levels – all while preserving and improving some of our city’s most iconic open spaces.”

Asser Levy Playground, near East 23rd Street, has been fenced off since December. Now, the heavier work is set to begin at Stuyvesant Cove, where construction crews will erect an above-ground flood wall to protect the lawn.

Later this summer, work is expected to commence on East River Park, where the city will raise the 46-acre green land with 8-10 feet of fill.

The whole shebang is expected to take at least five years to complete, and is intended to strengthen coastal resiliency between Montgomery and 25th Streets. It’ll be implemented on a two-phase schedule. So, rather than closing the entire park, area residents will have access to roughly half the park.

East River Park ACTION – which recently sued the city to reveal the Value Engineering Study behind the scrapping of initial resilience plans – organized a protest march on Sunday, April 18 at noon, from Tompkins Square Park to the East River Park Amphitheater, followed by a rally.

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