Revamped East Side flood protection plan debated at packed City Council hearing

Curbed: After years of community engagement about a resiliency plan to build a system of flood barriers and berms along the FDR Drive on the Lower East Side, the city announced a new proposal in September to entirely bury the East River Park with eight to 10 feet of fill—which would avoid nighttime highway closures, but require the park to go offline for three and a half years.

On Wednesday, City Council members grilled the Department of Design and Construction and the Parks Department about the East Side Coastal Resiliency project’s changes at an oversight hearing with the Committees on Environmental Protection and Parks, where DDC commissioner Lorraine Grillo shouldered the blame for the lack of communication over the new plan.

“That’s on me,” Grillo said of the lack of engagement with neighborhood residents. “I take responsibility for that, and I apologize.”

Echoing their previous announcements, city officials argued that their new proposal allows for faster and more efficient construction, which would impact a large swath of the neighborhood, from 14th to Montgomery streets. READ MORE>>