Assembly Member Seawright Issues Statement about East River Esplanade Breakdown

The following statement was issued by Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright following the breakdown of a section of the East River Esplanade around East 89th Street on Friday, May 5, 2017:

“The collapse of a part of the East River Esplanade seawall close to 89th Street is troubling. According to the Park’s Department, necessary steps are being taken to immediately address the safety issue at Carl Schurz Park. Barriers have been placed around the site and the Parks Department personnel are posted around the clock to ensure safety. At the March 2017 Esplanade Task Force Meeting, the Parks Department reported that the first phase of the East River Esplanade project is designed, and prior to the collapse, was scheduled to begin reconstruction this summer.

This incident underscores the critical need to attend to our aging infrastructure which is plainly disintegrating before our eyes. I am proud to have allocated $500,000 to improve the esplanade in our district. On November 3, 2016, I joined Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, Community Board 8, local elected officials and neighbors for a ribbon cutting for the opening of year-round access to our much-desired waterfront at Pier 90. The closure of Pier 90 is a great loss to our community and reminds us of the importance of our waterfront.

I am committed to working with the Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, Community Board 8 and local elected officials to identify and repair other parts of the esplanade that are susceptible to damage. Our favorite place to play is also our community’s first line of defense against flooding. I am pleased to inform you that the Parks Department is currently working to expedite reconstruction which addresses the current condition and a timeline for work is being determined. The site is part of the first phase ($15M) of the East River Esplanade project. There are two phases, totaling $41M including $35M/Mayoral and $6M City Council. We must make this our priority and bring minds and resources together to address our crumbling esplanade immediately,” said Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright.