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Lower Manhattan Secures $176 Million for Storm Protection

By Irene Plagianos | January 19, 2016 2:13pm
 Cars sit partially submerged near 17 South William St. in Lower Manhattan on Oct. 30, 2012 after Hurricane Sandy.
Cars sit partially submerged near 17 South William St. in Lower Manhattan on Oct. 30, 2012 after Hurricane Sandy.
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DNAinfo/Chelsia Rose Marcius

LOWER MANHATTAN — More than three years after Hurricane Sandy ripped through New York, the city has secured $176 million in federal funds to help build a flood protection system around Lower Manhattan.

The money was awarded through a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program for national disaster program for relief funds, the New York Times first reported.

It will be used to bolster the city's efforts to build a storm protection system — which could include deployable flood walls, levies and raising the coastline with parkland — along a stretch of Manhattan from Montgomery Street in the Lower East Side to the northern end of Battery Park City.

In August, the city committed $100 million to begin efforts on building the flood barrier system around Lower Manhattan. The investment and protection plans were also meant to bolster the city's application for the federal funds, officials previously said.

In its bid for the federal money, the city had asked for $500 million, the maximum it could have won.

According to the Times, Sen. Chuck Schumer lobbied housing secretary Julián Castro numerous times on Lower Manhattan's behalf for the funding.

The storm protection project will be use to guard the city against floods, but will also develop the waterfront for better recreational and community use, Schumer told the Times.

“The Lower East Side waterfront is almost a wasteland compared to the West Side waterfront, and this should make them much more equal,” he said, adding that he'd also like new ball fields and bike paths along the East River.

The city had previously received $335 million in federal funds through a different initiative for resiliency efforts between East 23rd Street and Montgomery Street.

City officials told the Times that preliminary designs had been completed for that earlier project and concepts for the Lower Manhattan storm barriers would be expected later this year.

Floodwaters overwhelmed much of Lower Manhattan when Sandy battered the city in October 2012, leaving buildings damaged and closed for months.

Daniel Zarrilli, director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, had previously said that the Lower Manhattan storm barrier would take about five to seven years to build and will be designed with input from the communities along the waterfront.