Ocean and Costal Consultants for E.D.C. conducted the study that ultimately cited many factors against the plan to build a beach area on the Manhattan side of the bridge. Specifically, the study pointed out the presence of combined stormwater-sewage overflow outlets as a health hazard as well as severe wave action, fast-moving currents and commercial river traffic as obstacles to opening a public beach on the site. The consultants also highlighted the fact that costly interventions would be needed would reduce the severe wave action in the area in order to make the beach area safe for a public use.
According to the Villager, residents in favor of the beach plan came out in force at a recent Community Board 1 Seaport Committee meeting, where they accused the study of being biased.
“My reading of it was that it was more of an anti-feasibility study,” said C.B. 1 member Marc Ameruso. “It appeared that every which way they could spin it, they do not want that beach to be used in any way, shape or form, and they came up with all sorts of bogus safety reasons as to why.”
The East River Blueway project was first introduced by former Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in 2013 to the delight of many who live near the area. Although the recent beach controversy may stall progress, the plan has many supporters who are seemingly willing to continue to fight.
Images via WXY Studio