This rendering released by the Army Corps of Engineers shows a proposed floodwall, about 20 feet tall, along the Hudson River in the West Village.Army Corps of Engineers

NY - See Walls: Army Corps’ Citywide Coastal Storm Plan Takes Shape, Steals Views

A series of renderings offer a glimpse at a proposal that could be what a resiliency expert called “the largest transformation of our waterfront since the Robert Moses era.”

Picture this: a concrete wall obscures Christopher Street Pier when looking west over the Hudson River. It’s one element of a six-mile-long necklace of levees, barriers, gates and sea walls stretching from Hudson Yards to Battery Park to guard against coastal storms and devastating flooding.

That’s all part of a $52 billion project proposed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect the New York City region. The various projects could be finalized  over the next few years.

A new series of renderings from the Army Corps offers a glimpse at what some of those dramatic projects could look like around New York City: near Flushing Bay in Queens, at Greenpoint Public Park and Coney Island in Brooklyn, among other places.

“To the extent that anybody is shocked by any of these renderings, we certainly can understand,” said Bryce Wisemiller, the Army Corps’ New York district project manager. “But this is a starting point that can only get better from here.”

Officials say local feedback is of paramount importance in order to shape the plan, which the Army Corps has been at work on since 2016 and is now presenting in detail throughout the region. The public may ask questions and offer opinions at a series of public meetings hosted by the Army Corps over the next month.

“You live in these neighborhoods, you play and work in these neighborhoods, so you are the experts in these areas, and so your feedback is super important,” said Cherry Mui, a senior policy advisor in the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice.


The Army Corps is accepting comments on the plan through March 7 — a two-month extension from the original period. Rebuild By Design and the National Parks Conservation Association next month will hold a workshop on how to write those comments effectively.

If officials in the city, the state and New Jersey approve the plan — and Congress signs off and allocates funding — construction could begin as soon as 2030, with the date of full completion by 2044.

“This proposes the largest transformation of our waterfront since the Robert Moses era,” said Kate Boicourt, director of the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund’s New York-New Jersey climate resilient coasts and watersheds program.

‘I Don’t Care if It’s Aesthetically Pleasing’

Along the Hudson River Greenway bordering the West Village on Wednesday, designer Jihé Lee, 33, was walking her dog as she considered the proposed floodwall for the area.

“It’s not something that you see, and then one day it’s here. It’s kind of hard to accept as a resident in the city,” Lee said. Still, given water levels rising and global warming, “I think it is something that has to be done.”

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