NYC Parks has announced that the 80 year old 79th Street Boat Basin in Riverside Park will undergo a total reconstruction. The project, which is currently in its final design stages and under review for approval, will aim to “make the historic marina climate resilient, enable more ecological research and education, and expand access for boaters,” according to a June 14 press release.
The total budget for the project is $89.2 million, $60.9 million of which is coming from the City. The remaining $28.3 million will come from FEMA.
The project will involve dredging and demolishing the current site, reconstructing all wooden structures with “modern resiliency standards.” The Parks Department also states that “failing timber will be replaced with steel and concrete support structures, and the floating dock pilings and dock house structure will be elevated to protect against storm surge.”
Once complete, the Boat Basin will be ADA-accessible for the first time, and boater access will be increased with the addition of new berths and a new dock.
New space will also be allocated for visiting ships, “allowing for expanded partnerships with environmental organizations conducting marine-based research and education in the area.”
“After years of community requests for improvements to the Boat Basin, we are happy to work with our partners at NYCEDC to deliver a needed reconstruction for this beloved connection to the waterfront,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “Thanks to funding from Mayor de Blasio and FEMA, the deteriorating wooden marina will be rebuilt as a modern, climate-resilient facility that increases access to boating and environmental research.”
This project is necessary in order to protect this vital historic part of the city. I hope that boat owners of all economic brackets will have a place here and not just the wealthy yacht owners.
But this is an absolutely necessary project. I also hope it won’t disrupt visiting the park by the river, including the cafe. It’s one way to feel truly relaxed and calm away from all the noise and constant construction in and around the streets on the Upper West Side.