The Pier 35 Screenwall Installation this Week is the Most Activity Here in 3 Years
It’s actually happening. Clean the crust from you eyes. Work has finally resumed at Pier 35 on the Lower East Side waterfront.
Steel elements for the problematic screenwall – the shield for the neighboring pier and cause for much of the delay – began arriving this week, about three months later than promised. Crews were spotted yesterday assembling the pieces with a crane. (City officials informed Community Board 3 last October that construction on this wall would resume in February.)
This is the most progress we’ve seen on the public park in the last three years. Easily. Indeed, this project was pretty much delivered to the community DOA. Completion date has been revised so many times it’s not even worth going through the chronology. Suffice it to say that the city, vis-a-vis the Economic Development Corp., promised the neighborhood at the October meeting that the project would wrap in “fall 2017.” Current work notwithstanding, that projection doesn’t seem possible at this juncture.
Pier 35 was first announced in 2009 with a completion date of roughly sometime in 2013. The city attributes the excessive delays to structural setbacks from Hurricane Sandy, problems with the screenwall needed to obstruct that unsightly sanitation shed at Pier 36, and bureaucratic bickering on where to install the underground water main. Regarding the latter, DEP previously claimed that the plumbing beneath the FDR overpass didn’t allow for surface infrastructure fifteen feet on either side, and refused to play ball. That is, until this past January, when the city agencies sat down for the great compromise to relax these restrictions.