LOWER MANHATTAN — A desolate stretch of waterfront along the East River is one step closer to becoming a sandy beach, complete with a kayak launch.
The $7 million needed to fund Brooklyn Bridge Beach, one portion of the updated East River Blueway Plan, has been secured, thanks to a $3.5 million cash infusion from the City Council, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced Thursday.
Stringer, who has spearheaded the Blueway Plan — an effort to reimagine the waterfront between East 38th Street and the Brooklyn Bridge with a variety of public leisure spots and amenities — already had allocated $3.5 million for the transformation of the 11,000 square-foot swath of beach at Dover and South streets.
“The redevelopment of Brooklyn Bridge Beach will transform an unused and forgotten stretch of waterfront into a premier staycation destination,” Quinn said at a press conference announcing the funding. “New Yorkers and tourists alike will be able to take advantage of this project’s unique an innovative design…The waterfront is an asset to New York City and we must embrace it.”
The new beach will feature a much larger sandy expanse than is there now, along with a new walkway and public seating.
The beach and other portions of the Blueway will also help shield the waterfront from extreme weather, Quinn said.
Despite the new funds, the creation of the beach is still several years away because it is in the early stages of planning, officials said.
The entire Blueway Plan will require many millions more in funding.