Riverside Park


Thursday, December 5, 2019
No. 118

Study and high priority drainage issues plaguing historic park to be addressed

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, and Riverside Park Conservancy CEO and President Dan Garodnick today announced an $11.5 million investment from Mayor Bill de Blasio that will allow Parks to begin addressing chronic drainage issues in Riverside Park, starting with a comprehensive engineering study of the park’s 1930s era drainage systems followed by restoration work in the highest priority areas between 108th and 116th streets.

“This investment in Riverside Park’s infrastructure will significantly improve the drainage systems and increase the park’s storm water capacity in sections that are prone to chronic flooding,” said Commissioner Silver. “Thanks to Mayoral funding, we are able to execute our goal to increase long-term resiliency in this historic park.”

“Riverside Park’s infrastructure has deteriorated significantly over decades, and this new investment is critically important to lift up one of the city’s most important public spaces,” said Dan Garodnick, Riverside Park Conservancy President. “We are so grateful to the Mayor and Parks Commissioner for stepping up to address this challenge.”

“The historically underserved northern areas of Riverside Park that span the communities of Morningside Heights, West Harlem, and Washington Heights have seen inadequate investment from the City for years and needed urgent help,” said Council Member Mark Levine. “This significant investment from the de Blasio Administration and Parks Commissioner to fix the drainage issues that have plagued the northern part of the park will ensure that Riverside Park will continue to be a cornerstone of inclusion and equity for all New Yorkers.”

This winter, Parks will issue an RFP for an engineering consultant to conduct a full study of the park’s storm water drainage systems, current and future capacity requirements, and strategies for long term maintenance. The study, which will be conducted summer 2020, will identify and present design approaches to address needs at the most flood prone locations between 108th and 116th streets. Once identified, work would begin at these high priority sites beginning in 2022. The park-wide study will also identify drainage problems in other areas of the park with cost estimates to inform future projects.

The drainage infrastructure in Riverside Park dates back to the 1930s and has not received a significant investment until now. The deterioration of these systems has affected the park’s usability including damaging staircases and other access points; contributed to erosion; and created an appearance of disrepair in the park. Storm and surface water drainage utilities located between 72nd and 125th streets are within the 100 year floodplain and must be modified to withstand heavy flooding.

One of only eight officially designated scenic landmarks in New York City, Riverside Park is widely regarded as Manhattan’s most spectacular waterfront park. Stretching along the Hudson River, the park offers a variety of recreational activities including multiple sports courts and fields, a skate park, and a 110-slip public marina. Riverside Park is also home to many monuments including the General Franz Sigel, Joan of Arc, Lajos Kossuth and Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monuments.

Directions to Riverside Park

Know Before You Go

There are currently 2 service interruptions affecting access within this park.

MarinasWest 79th Street Boat Basin

There are service changes at this facility. Transient and seasonal moorings will not be available for the 2020 season

MarinasWest 79th Street Boat Basin

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there are service changes at this marina. Marinas, boatyards, and boat launches are open for personal use of vessels only. Group activities, social gatherings, vessel charters, and rentals are prohibited. Vessel servicing, fueling, and pumpout stations are open. Please maintain strict social distancing of at least six feet and clean and sanitize your vessels after each use. Also, transient and seasonal moorings will not be available for the 2020 season.

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