The Daily Plant : Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Parks Breaks Ground On Project To Repair The Queensbridge Seawall
On Friday, May 10, NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White joined Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, State Senator Michael Gianaris, NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Chief Operating Officer Zachary Smith, and members of Community Board 1, the Friends of Queensbridge Park, the East River Development Alliance, and GreenShores NYC to break ground on the restoration and improvement of the Queensbridge Park Seawall.
“The much-anticipated repair of the Queensbridge Park Seawall will provide additional storm protection for the Long Island City community, while also improving their access to the waterfront,” said Commissioner White. “This is thanks to our partners at the city, state and federal levels who allocated a combined $6.65 million to allow this project to move forward.”
“For too long, the only view of this waterfront has been through a chain-linked fence. Queensbridge Park will now be a gateway to the waterfront instead of a dead end,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “Getting this project off the ground has been a very long process – and like most good things, many people had to work together to help us reach this day. Borough President Helen Marshall, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, State Senator Michael Gianaris, the Parks Department and the Economic Development Corporation have all made extraordinary contributions to this project.”
“As Sandy showed us, sea walls, like the one we’re breaking ground to restore today, are an essential part of our city’s infrastructure,” said City Council Speaker Quinn. “But this project will also further revitalize our waterfront, providing open space, and opportunities for recreation and passive enjoyment. Whether driving over Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge or down Vernon Boulevard, instead of seeing an eyesore of unused land, people will see a beautiful, waterfront gem. I am grateful to Council Member Van Bramer and Parks Commissioner White for making today possible. I thank everyone who supported this project for the good of Queens and our city as a whole.”
“This much-needed project to restore and improve the Queensbridge Park seawall took a great deal of cooperation and combined support from elected officials, the City of New York, the MTA and the community, said Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. “The project will make this area safer, greener and more attractive while providing more protection from storm damage in the event of another hard-hitting superstorm like Sandy. Today we celebrate the beginning of the project as we look forward to its completion.”
“Today I am proud to join the local residents of Queensbridge to kick-off the beginning of a project that will begin the process of restoring this Western Queens park back to its original state,” said Council Member Van Bramer. “This project has been a top priority for me during my time in office and it is an honor to have secured the final $3.6 million of funding needed to jump-start the process of reconnecting park goers to the East River waterfront. A year from now, when the project is complete, thousands of families and local residents will be able to celebrate its completion and enjoy sweeping views of the New York City skyline together right here in Queensbridge.”
“I am thrilled to be here with my colleagues and the New York City Parks Department as we finally break ground on the restoration of the Queensbridge Seawall,” said State Senator Gianaris. “The Seawall will protect our shoreline and add to the natural beauty of the East River waterfront by constructing a promenade all New Yorkers can enjoy. With the dual purpose of improving our city and protecting waterfront areas, this undertaking exemplifies the direction all development should take as we continue to rebuild our city’s waterfront.”
“I have been a long time supporter for restoring the seawall” said Assemblywoman Nolan. “This restoration will ensure that the proper repairs are made, the surrounding area is improved and the local residents are given access to the waterfront”.
“The Seawall project will make critical improvements that will benefit Queensbridge Park and the Long Island City community, while also protecting the shoreline from the effects of erosion,” said NYCEDC Executive Director Kyle Kimball. “Increasing waterfront access across the five boroughs is a priority of the Bloomberg Administration, and we look forward to bringing this important section of the park back to life.”
This project will be managed by NYC EDC and includes the reconstruction of the seawall using rip-rap revetment. Rip-rap, made up of large rocks, will be used to protect the shoreline by absorbing and deflecting waves while lessening the effects of erosion. The project will also create a 6-foot wide waterfront promenade with benches and plantings, and a small wharf at its northern end. The project is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2014.
The project is funded with $3.65 million allocated by Council Member Van Bramer and Council Speaker Quinn, $1 million allocated by Borough President Marshall, $1 million allocated by Mayor Bloomberg, and $1 million from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
This park is named for the nearby Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. The City of New York acquired the land that is now Queensbridge Park in two sections in 1939. The nearby Queensbridge Housing projects gave jurisdiction of the land to the New York City Housing Authority with the Parks Department retaining maintenance responsibilities.
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