Office of Mayor de Blasio, NYC

NYC Council calls hearing on contentious flood wall plan

The City Council plans to grill de Blasio administration officials over their recent decision to swap longstanding plans for a $760 million flood barrier on the Lower East Side with a new design that costs twice as much.

In late September, the mayor's office unveiled plans for a 2.4 mile flood barrier between East 25th Street and Montgomery Street that differed dramatically from an existing preliminary design. Officials said the new blueprints would reduce construction time, but stakeholders and elected officials wondered why the cost spiked to $1.4 billion and why a project based on years' worth of community meetings would suddenly be scrapped.

Later this month, they may get some answers. Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, who represents much of the area that would be protected, announced Tuesday that the council would hold an oversight hearing Jan. 23.

"Even with multiple community briefings and meetings with elected officials, we still do not have important details about this project," Rivera said in a statement. "I expect the mayor's team to come well prepared and help us understand the need for these drastic changes."

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