Plan To Build Flood Barriers Along East River In Manhattan Moves Forward

East River Park, Manhattan
Photo credit Spencer Platt / Getty Images

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- A New York City Council subcommittee has approved a plan to build flood barriers along two and half miles of East River Park in Lower Manhattan.

The East Side Coastal Resiliency Project is aimed at preventing the type of flooding experienced during Superstorm Sandy.

The final plan will elevate portions of the East River Park by up to eight feet. A series of berms, levees and walls that could rise up to 16 feet will also be built.

While nearly a thousand trees will be taken down as part of the plan, the city says it will replace all of them and add nearly a thousand more.

The city has agreed to work on the park in stages, keeping about 40 percent open at all times.

“The ESCR plan is a win in the long term, ensuring our community is resilient for years to come,” Councilwoman Margaret Chin told NY1.

Some community activists oppose the plan, saying that the noise and construction will make the open areas of the park less appealing. Others say the work is more about gentrifying the neighborhood than flood protection.

The full City Council will vote on the plan on Thursday. If approved, construction will begin next year.