It’s been a year since we’ve received any update on the huge East Side Coastal Resiliency Project, the federally-funded reconstruction of our East River waterfront to prevent another storm surge like the one we experienced during Sandy in 2012.
But now we have a big chance to hear what the engineers and landscape designers have come up with in that time during a public meeting this Thursday at 7 pm in our community room (building 4, section M).
Of particular interest to cooperators will be what project planners are proposing for the pedestrian bridge over the FDR Drive next to the Williamsburg Bridge. Last year, three directions were shared: one which stayed mainly true to the existing bridge; a more elaborate design that included a winding bridge and a stairs leading right in front of building 4; and a reimagining of the bridge as a full extension of East River Park into building 4’s lap.
Participants in public sessions last fall were largely weary of option 3, which seemed to take too much away from our own property. A heated discussion broke out among cooperators about the benefits and drawbacks of the staircase in option 2 — some thought it would encourage use of the park by providing a quicker pass from Grand Street, while others thought it would bring death and destruction.
Project planners seemed inclined to avoid any controversy, especially as a simpler bridge design would allow them to spend limited money on the other pedestrian bridges at Houston, 6th Street, and 10th Street, so it would not be surprising if their proposal this year looks more like last year’s more limited Option 1. But nothing is final, and community feedback is still important to this process.
There are major changes right around the corner for the stretch of waterfront in our backyard. Please come out Thursday to see what’s in store and make your voice heard:
Thursday, September 29
East River Coop Community Room
Building 4, Section M