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Construction on East River Esplanade in the LES to Begin this Summer

By Allegra Hobbs | January 13, 2017 5:57pm | Updated on January 15, 2017 7:50pm
 Construction on Phase 4 of the East River Esplanade will begin summer 2017.
Construction on Phase 4 of the East River Esplanade will begin summer 2017.
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New York City Economic Development Corporation

LOWER EAST SIDE — A chunk of the East River Esplanade project, a long-delayed plan to rehabilitate a stretch to waterfront turf and create new recreational space, is slated to kick off this summer, according to city officials, while the design phase of a neighboring waterfront project will begin this spring.

The sprawling project's "Phase 4" — falling between Catherine Slip and Pike Slip — is back on track after being briefly derailed by plans to build a new water main near the site, according to representatives from the Economic Development Corporation, who projected a tentative completion date of summer 2018. It is now five years behind schedule, officials said.

The city's Department of Environmental Protection had initially believed it would have to replace a nearby water main and that the esplanade project would have to be downsized in order to allow for the construction.

After further evaluation, however, the DEP has determined the water main is in good shape and the esplanade can proceed as planned, officials from both agencies announced at a recent Community Board 3 Parks committee meeting.

The plan includes resurfacing and installing new seating and play equipment along the waterfront. 

Meanwhile, the preliminary design phase for a nearby waterfront project is expected to begin this spring, according to the EDC.

The city in early March will put out a Request for Proposals for the Brooklyn Bridge Esplanade project, which begins at Catherine Slip to the north and spans under the Brooklyn Bridge to Peck Slip. 

The EDC expects to enter a contract with a designer for the project by September, with hopes of kicking off community visioning workshops to design the esplanade that fall. That project also aims to improve waterfront access and create new recreational space for the community, including new paving, railings, and exercise equipment along the waterfront.