The seawall that lines the greenway path along the Belt Parkway was badly damaged during the storm. For weeks, residents and local leaders have asking the federal government to fix it.
Along 14th Avenue, 17th Avenue and 95th Street is where the wall was most noticeably damaged. If the wall is not repaired, there will be no buffer to protect the highway if another storm hits, even one that is considerably less devastating than Sandy. Hurricane Irene, for example, caused serious flooding along parts of the highway last year.
The Belt Parkway is the main thoroughfare for Southern Brooklyn and acts as a much needed road for emergency vehicles transporting goods and relief. Further, the broken parts of the greenway wall can be dangerous for kids and adults riding their bikes and for fisherman leaning on the rails.
Currently, police tape is the only thing marking the hazardous areas and thus far, dates for repairs have not been announced.
Congressman Michael Grimm wants FEMA to repair the wall immediately. He sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg “urging them to request a FEMA mission assignment to repair the damaged Brooklyn seawall,” according a release from Grimm’s office.
The money may be acquired through FEMA funding, however, the City and State must be the ones to make the request, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.
“The flooding of the Belt Parkway is not a new issue, but one that has become increasingly worse with recent storms,” said Grimm. “Our crumbling seawall took another severe beating from Sandy, and without repairs, the flooding brought on by another storm could be detrimental to the Brooklyn community and the security of New York City. That is why I am urging the City and the State to request a FEMA mission assignment that would provide the Army Corps of Engineers with necessary resources to begin repairs without delay.”
Senator Marty Golden has also been in support of emergency repairs along the wall. He penned a letter to the U.S. Corps of Engineers early in November asking that they assess and fix the wall quickly.
Prior to the storm your office had been working with the city to replace a 2.5 mile section of the seawall running from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Bay Parkway. The newly damaged section is entirely contained within the scope of the original project. Of course now the need to expedite the repair of the heavily damaged section is a high priority.
…It is my hope that in addition to an emergency fix for part of the seawall, the Army Corps will move forward with the replacement of the entire 2.5 mile section with a new seawall. In the long term this would be a better fix in protecting the adjourning highway and community as well as being a more efficient way of utilizing limited funds.