Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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Is the East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) project fully funded? What is the cost of the project?

Yes, the project is fully funded with a budget of $1.45 billion. See Project Background for more information about how this project came to be.

What does Project Area 1 (PA1), Project Area 2 (PA2), and Parallel Conveyance (PC) refer to? What are the different project areas for construction?

Because ESCR is such a large and complex project, it has been divided into separate contracts for construction. EP, PA 1, PA 2, and PC refer to those distinct contracts.

  1. Project Area 1 (PA1) is concentrated in Manhattan's Lower East Side (LES) between Montgomery St. and East 15th St., including the East River Park.
  2. Project Area 2 (PA2) encompasses work between East 15th St. and East 25th St., including Asser Levy Playground, Stuyvesant Cove Park, and Murphy Brothers Playground, as well as local streets around the Con Edison facility.
  3. Parallel Conveyance (PC) includes sewer infrastructure work in specific areas within the overall ESCR project footprint. While PA1 and PA2 protect the community from coastal/tidal flooding and saltwater, the PC upgrades will protect the community from floods that result from heavy rainfall during storm events within the neighborhoods. PC optimizes the existing drainage infrastructure and stormwater system, adding new drainage in parallel to existing infrastructure. The PC work consists of:
    1. Sewer upgrade work within the city streets
    2. Two interceptor gates, two buildings, and several deep manhole excavations
    3. Potential street and/or sidewalk closures, detours, and temporary watermain shutoffs during construction

Read more about the flood protection and drainage improvement work in East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR).

What Safety Plans are contractors required to submit?

The City is committed to a robust, transparent environmental monitoring plan, issuing reports regularly, and clear communications with the community throughout the construction phase. The ESCR contractors are mandated to submit a Construction Health and Safety Plan (CHASP) that incorporates required safety rules and COVID-19 related guidelines. Details of these plans will become available once the construction contracts are awarded.

What about Noise & Air Quality Monitoring Plans?

The project's Noise & Air Quality monitoring plans as well as the Construction Noise Mitigation Plan will be developed in compliance with NYC Noise Control Code and Air Quality monitoring regulations. Furthermore, a Dust Control Plan will be developed in compliance with NYC Code to mitigate the release of dust from the construction site, use of best available control technologies, and to minimize diesel particulate emissions. Details of these plans will become available once the construction contracts are awarded.

What is the status of the Interim Flood Protection (IFPM) study?

New York City Emergency Management Department (NYCEM) presented their analysis at the Community Board 3 (CB3) Parks Committee meeting on 07/16/2020.

The East Side Coastal Resiliency (ESCR) project has coordinated with NYCEM to develop a web page of helpful links and resources for Emergency Preparedness.

How does the ESCR project address the subterranean or underground streams that run through the Lower East Side?

The historic wetlands and streams that once existed on the Lower East Side have long since been filled in, as this part of the City has been developed with roads and structures. While there is tidally influenced groundwater found underground in the study area, there is no evidence of any remaining rivers. The presence of groundwater in the project area has been taken into consideration in the design of the foundations for the flood walls and other below-grade structural elements. Regardless, any groundwater conditions within the project area will not interfere with or impact the ESCR project's functionality, nor would the introduction of the project significantly affect the groundwater found in the study area.

Drainage runoff that was previously carried by wetlands and streams is now managed by today's modern sewer system. The ESCR project addresses the drainage protected area through the Parallel Conveyance work (see above) which includes modifications to the existing sewer system. These upgrades will increase capacity to the Manhattan Pump Station, reducing the risk of flooding and sewer backups within the protected area. Additionally, a seepage barrier will be installed as part of the flood protection system, preventing storm surge from seeping through the earth and flowing inland underground. The historic wetlands and streams were addressed in Appendix A of the Joint Record of Decision, as well as the responses to public comments received following the release of Partial Action Plan A.

What is the status of the Lower East Side Ecology Center's Community Compost Yard?

The City is highly supportive of compost operations by the Lower East Side Ecology Center (LESEC) and is making extraordinary efforts to relocate them for the duration of construction. As coordination is ongoing, please attend our next Community Board Meeting to find out more.

What is a Community Construction Liaison?

Community Construction Liaisons (CCLs) work on behalf of DDC as the first point of contact for local community members and stakeholders. They are responsible for communicating construction impacts to the local community and helping to resolve construction-related inquiries. The ESCR CCLs will be introduced to the community and will become well known to community members in the neighborhoods where they work. They will maintain frequent contact with residents, small and large businesses, local schools, emergency responders, and other key stakeholders to distribute relevant construction information and updates. CCLs will also attend community meetings such as Community Board meetings to provide project updates.

Meet the ESCR CCLs

What is the status of the amphitheater?

The design team is aware of the community’s concern with the noise at the amphitheater. Since this issue was first raised, DDC and Parks teams have taken a look at the history of events at the outdoor amphitheater and worked with the design consultants at AKRF to observe and assess noise levels. We found that many past instances of excessive noise complaints at the amphitheater have been associated with unpermitted outdoor/open-air events or events extending past permitted hours. The design team has conducted a noise study for the redesigned amphitheater. The team investigated potential control measures to contain or reduce noise from the amphitheater (including: physical barriers, walls, or other design solutions) and found that these measures would either not be effective and/or were deemed infeasible. For example: walls would be so high they would block waterfront views or would need to be installed in locations that would be disruptive of other uses or areas that could not accommodate the wall foundations. Instead, the noise study identified operational parameters for outdoor events (in conjunction with the Park’s rules) as the recommended means of controlling noise from the amphitheater. This includes: on-site noise check-points that could be used to verify that noise is being held below specified sound thresholds, and actions to be taken if specified noise levels are exceeded. Once we resume the design of the amphitheater canopy structure, we will follow up with the amphitheater group to schedule a design workshop which will include the acoustical performance design of that structure. NYC Parks is willing to engage in discussions with LESPP, Community Board 3, and other local stakeholders about what a feasible set of practices and thresholds should look like as this project progresses. The location will remain as designed.

What recreation options will be available for park users and cyclists while the parks are under construction?

Throughout ESCR construction, at least 40% of East River Park will remain open for public use at all times, and construction at Asser Levy Playground, Stuyvesant Cove Park, and Murphy Brothers Playgrounds will be staggered to minimize open space impacts. Details about the timing of specific closures have not yet been finalized but will be posted on the website once they are available. For more information on where you can play and relax while the project is under construction, please visit the NYC Parks Neighborhood Recreation Resources website. You can also view an overview of completed and upcoming open space improvements (as of Fall 2020).

While sections of the East River Greenway will be closed during construction, the project team is working with the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) to create bike detours that will direct cyclists to the protected bike lanes along 1st and 2nd Avenues. These bike detours will be posted on the website when the routes are confirmed. Additionally, DOT has recently proposed upgrading bike lanes along Avenue C and East Houston Street to expand NYC’s protected bike network. The design and public review process for these new bike lanes is ongoing.

What contractor is working on the ESCR project?

For PA2, Perfetto Contracting Co. was the lowest bidder in a competitive bidding process and began construction in Asser Levy Playground and near Solar One in Stuyvesant Cove Park in November 2020. The contract for PA1 was awarded to IPC Resiliency Partners, the low bidder in a competitive bidding process, and they received their Notice to Proceed (NTP) on August 16, 2021 but no construction has begun. The PC package has not yet begun the bidding process.

Are bid packages and bid results available?

For ESCR’s construction contracts, once a contractor has been awarded the project, DDC sends the bid package to the respective community boards (Manhattan Community Board 3 or 6) in a mass mailing. The Project Area 2 (PA 2, contract name: SANDRESM2) mass mailings were sent to CB6 in November 2020 and the Project Area 1 (PA 1, contract name: SANDRESM1) mass mailings were sent to both CB3 and CB6 in August 2021. Constituents may contact their local community board for access to these documents.  

The bid process for the Parallel Conveyance package (PC, contract name: SANDRESMPC) has not begun. Once the package goes out to bid, it will be posted on the DDC bid page for contractors and vendors to review. Anyone interested will be able to access these materials at that time. As described above for PA 1 and PA 2, mass mailings with the final bid package will also go out prior to the start of PC construction.