Update: Pier 35 Eco-Park Project

A few weeks ago, a reader sent along fresh photos showing some signs of work near Pier 35 on the East River.  As you may recall, the city is transforming the pier (located near Jefferson Street) into an eco-park and recreational area, but the work has not progressed all that swiftly.  In the last several days, Lower Manhattan Info published new details about the project.

In the “coming weeks,” we can expect work to begin on South Street between Pike Slip and Jefferson Street, where crews will be replacing a big water main.  New fire hydrants and lighting along FDR Drive will also be installed during this $25 million phase of the East River revitalization plan.

As our photos last month indicated, work recently begun on Pier 35’s infrastructure.  The plan is to rebuild the pier as a recreational space stretching for one-thousand feet.  The centerpiece will be the eco-park but the esplanade running alongside FDR Drive will also be renovated (there will be basketball courts, an observation area and new seating).  The ultimate plan is to extend the bike path to the west, creating a continuous protected roadway around Lower Manhattan.  The Pier 35 phase of the project is supposed to be finished in early 2014.

This past month, city officials briefed Community Board 3 on the esplanade project (south from Pike Street to Catherine Slip).  The board offered its support but expressed concerns about bike lane safety and whether designated areas for skateboarding are appropriate along this particular stretch of the waterfront.