Poor drainage, housing superblocks, narrow bike lanes, combined sewage overflow, and, oh yeah, the need to deal with future storm surges are just some of the issues that WXY Architecture and Design has had to confront in its design for the East River Blueway. After much discussion with the city and the public, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer will unveil the Blueway proposal that hopefully addresses all of those issues in his state of the borough address today. The Times has a preview of what's proposed for the East River waterfront between the Brooklyn Bridge and 38th Street, so let's take a look. Hint: there's a beach.
The beach in question, along with a kayak launch, would go on a now-fenced-off crescent of naturally occurring sand just below the Brooklyn Bridge. Another two boat launches would be set up at the ends of 20th and 23rd streets. For storm protection, marshlands and sea walls would be added, and additional greenery along the FDR Drive would further block storm runoff. Another suggestion involves creating a new pedestrian bridge over the FDR at 14th Street that would double as a sea wall. As Brooklyn Heights Blog points out, Manhattan is just envying Brooklyn Bridge Park with all this.
The storm precaution measures, in addition to providing actual storm protection, would mean that the project could use some of the post-Hurricane Sandy federal aid money. Stringer has also promised $3.5 million for the funding of some of the marshlands included in the plan. The whole proposal will be released sometime in the next few weeks.
· Plan Aims to Reconnect Residents With East River Waterfront [NYT]
· East River Blueway coverage [Curbed]