In About-Face, Mayor Decides to Keep Half of East River Park Open During Resiliency Upgrade

Posted on: October 3rd, 2019 at 5:00 am by

Photo: DDC

The weight of community pressure paid off, as Mayor de Blasio yesterday announced a change to the East Side Coastal Resiliency plan project. Specifically, amending the plan for the upcoming closure of East River Park. And it happened mere days after Mayor de Blasio toured the coastline.

Instead of closing down all 45 acres to the public, the new tack is one of phases. That way the community can access sections of parkland during the ongoing construction. Of course, that means a revised timeline of completion to 2025, more than two years longer than the initial scope.

Photo: Susan Loeb

Full details will be revealed at a City Council hearing later today. But here are some crumbs:

While early ESCR construction work will commence in spring 2020, all of East River Park will remain open until Fall 2020.

First Phase of Construction (Fall 2020 to Spring 2023): The vast majority of the park areas from Delancey to Houston Streets will remain open as well as the amphitheater area in the south and the portion from approximately East 10th to East 12th Street in the north.

Second Phase of Construction (Spring 2023 to Late 2025): Newly rebuilt portions of East River Park will be open from Houston Street to approximately East 10th Street, as well as the vast majority of the park areas from Corlears Hook Bridge to Delancey Street.

Esplanade areas will follow a separate construction schedule and will be made available as construction permits. To meet the needs of area residents, in addition to phasing, new and improved open space resources will be made available in the surrounding neighborhoods, including a new park adjacent to Pier 42 to be completed in spring 2022. The plan also ensures that open space near the northern end of the project will be phased to maximize public access to open space and playgrounds in Asser Levy, Murphy Brothers, Stuyvesant Cove.

This is a score for the community. However, the loss of the LaGuardia Bathhouse now seems in vain…

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