July 13, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
The state has completed a $ 2 million project to repair part of the shoreline at Gantry Plaza State Park that was damaged nearly nine years ago by Super Storm Sandy.
The work also included an additional $ 17,000 spent on repairing a gaping hole on the Pier 3 promenade that was burnt by illegal fireworks on new year’s day.
Trails at the site where shoreline repairs were carried out – behind the southernmost portico of Gantry Plaza State Park – were closed to the public for construction starting in October while all piers remained open.
However, Pier 3 – along with its pedestrian bridge – was closed for safety reasons after the wooden planks were damaged by fireworks after midnight on New Years Day.
All closed areas were fully reopened to the public during the first week of July, according to Leslie Wright, regional director of the New York State Parks Dept.
Wright said the shoreline redevelopment was completed on time and on budget.
The project restored an area behind the southernmost portico of Gantry Plaza State Park that was damaged by flooding from the 2012 storm.
Some of the landscaping work included repairing gardens and shrubs, refurbishing benches, and laying new granite blocks. The paths have also been reconstructed.
The sloping structure that protects the riverbank, known as the liner, was also repaired and redeveloped after more than 20 years of tidal damage from the East River causing erosion.
The coating was redesigned by engineers to protect the bank from continued erosion, which included installing large boulders or boulders.
While the landscaped area was damaged by Hurricane Sandy, “the mighty and ruthless East River has naturally eaten away at the riverbanks for a number of years,” Wright told the Queen’s post in November.
This section of the shoreline was historically used as a shipyard, but the embankment and shoreline were rebuilt in 1998 when the area was turned into Gantry Plaza State Park.
Wright said the constant tidal action associated with boat traffic along the river has caused considerable erosion of the riverbank since the park opened. The riverbank also featured large granite steps leading visitors to the water when it first opened, but these have since been eroded by the force of the river and have not been replaced.
The boat launch and docking area at Pier 4 – which is used to launch hand-propelled boats like kayaks and rowboats – were also repaired as part of the redevelopment project.
Meanwhile, Wright said the fire damage at Pier 3 was significant.
An FDNY investigation found that the floorboards had caught fire due to illegal fireworks set off on the promenade, Wright said.
“The fire caused damage to the decking and some joists, and the railing also had to be replaced,” Wright said.
The fire dug a large hole which was estimated to be approximately 8 feet long and 6 feet wide. The damage is located at the start of the jetty.
Police said no arrests had been made in connection with the incident.
The Hunters Point Parks Conservancy said they are extremely pleased that the repair work has been completed.
“Whether it’s walking or sitting, it provides another special place for visitors to Gantry Plaza State Park,” said Rob Basch, President of the HPPC.