NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Construction crews have been working overtime to get the Sandy-damaged Hudson River Park ready in time for summer.
As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported, bikers, joggers and others out enjoying the sun on Tuesday had to navigate around chain-link fences set up to block off the construction areas.
Hudson River Park Trust CEO Madelyn Wils said three piers were heavily damaged and the electrical system was knocked out completely when Sandy flooded the park on Oct. 29. All of the street lights lost power.
“It was very interesting that night to see trees sticking up from the water,” Wils told Diamond. “We had four-to-six feet everywhere. Most of the damage that was done is to the mechanical and electrical systems.”
As Diamond reported, with the new FEMA flood maps, repairs are now double the initial estimate of $10 million.
“Clearly, we built for the 100-year flood plain, but we did not build to the 1,000-year flood plain,” Wils said.
After Sandy hit, photos showed parts of the stone pathway completely buckled.
“Somehow, the force of the waters seemed to lift up the foam underneath our pavers,” Wils told Diamond.
The five-mile waterfront park that runs from Battery Park to West 59th Street has been closed after dark while repairs are ongoing. Wils said for a neighborhood with limited park space, it’s been a huge loss.
“This is the front door, this is the front yard for people. This is where they play, this is where they calm down,” Wils said.
The repair work is being covered by trust reserves but FEMA reimbursements are on the way, Wils said.
She said repairs to the electrical system will be complete by mid-May and the damaged piers are expected to completely reopen by early July.
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