Part of storm protection plan
By Raanan Geberer
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A revamped area around Coney Island Creek is one element in Mayor Bloomberg’s “resiliency” plan to strengthen shoreline protection around the city’s most vulnerable edges in the event of another major storm.
On Tuesday, Mayor Bloomberg and other officials toured Coney Island as well as the Rockaways and Staten Island as part of an effort to highlight the city’s progress in implementing its resiliency plan. The plan, titled “A Stronger, More Resilient New York,” was first unveiled in June.
The plan includes the installation of a new levee and tidal barrier system at the mouth of the creek to manage the flow of water during a similar future coastal storm. As a first phase, the city intends to shore up protection along the creek’s lowest lying edges to provide interim protection in advance of a larger investment.
Second, incorporating operational controls to the city’s often-criticized stormwater management system could allow the creek to absorb stormwater runoff during coastal storms, and thus protect adjacent neighborhoods from serious damage.
Finally, the city plans to combine Kaiser Park on the Coney Island side of the creek with Calvert Vaux Park on the Bath Beach/Bensonhurst side of the creek, forming a restored wetland and lake complex.
Both parks have the same “friends” group, Friends of Kaiser Park. In addition, Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny (D-Gravesend-Coney Island) has sought to build a bridge over the creek, uniting the two parks. Brook-Krasny estimated that the project would cost $30 million, whereupon local opponents dubbed it “the bridge to nowhere.”
As far as projects that have been done in the area since the storm are concerned, the U.S Army Corps has replenished 600,000 cubic yards of sand on Coney Island beach. The Corps last dumped new sand on the beach after a storm in the early 1990s.
In addition, according to the city, the 200-unit Coney Island Commons, which was under construction before the storm, was redesigned to include resiliency measures, including deployable flood panels.
At one time, Coney Island Creek completely separated Coney Island from the rest of Brooklyn. During the early 20th century, part of the creek was filled in, making Coney Island a peninsula.