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East River Park Promenade Not Before the Fall of ‘08

by Yori Yanover

The City’s Parks Dept. has finally clarified it: According to rep. Carli Smith (who was leaving the afternoon we spoke, making us the last living reporter she spoke to in that capacity), the 2007 date has always been set for the end of Phase Two in the East River Park Promenade Project, restoring the promenade bulkheads. The final completion of the entire promenade project has always been, according to Smith, the fall of 2008. So, there you go, if you’ve been x’ing out the days on your East River Park renovation calendar, you’ve still got two more calendars to fill.

Incidentally, we fully intend to keep our ERP watch fresh, with regular follow up. Call it our Giuliani Watch, in memory of the mayor who fenced off our promenade July 4, 2000, and basically threw away the key.

Many unexpected issues have combined to complicate the renovation job. The Parks Dept. representative, Bob Redmond, recently told the CB3 Parks & Recreation committee that over the past 70 years the erosion of the sea wall, from Jackson to 12th Streets, has been so severe, that a complete reconstruction, to the tune of $78 million, is needed. But he promised the sea wall would hold up for at least 70 more years.

Oh, and the reason why there were no workers to be seen at the promenade work site on most days during July and August had to do with an order from the City’s Department of Environmental Protection, which was concerned with the flow of soil deposits into the East River.

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