Rep. Maloney, Councilmember Kallos Applauds NYC $80 Million Commitment to Repair John Finley Walk

Jun 10, 2021
Press Release

New York, NY - Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) and Councilmember Ben Kallos, Co-Chairs of the East River Esplanade Task Force, applauded New York City’s plans to begin a $80 million improvement of John Finley Walk between E. 81st Street and E. 90th Street.  

 

In conjunction with the Congresswoman’s goal of making a green necklace around the borough of Manhattan, the repairs will bring much needed improvements by addressing the structural integrity of the underside deck, the walls along the roadway, and the concrete girders. There will also be significant upgrades for pedestrians by the leveling of walkways, improvement of drainage, and replacement of pedestrian railings and street lighting.

 

“The past 15 months of COVID-19 have only made more clear just how essential open, outdoor spaces are to New Yorkers,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12). “John Finley Walk is a wonderful space beloved by the children who play here, the athletes who bike and run on it, and all New Yorkers who find respite here from being stuck indoors. Even before the pandemic, East Siders felt the strain of living with some of the least park space per capita in the city.  I applaud the City of New York for its $80 million plan to repair and improve John Finley Walk.”

 

"$70 million to rehabilitate John Finley Walk and the surrounding areas is a phenomenal way to start off our summer and kick our recovery into high gear, "said Council Member Ben Kallos. "Through persistence and good cooperation with city agencies and the Mayor, we have secured hundreds of millions of dollars over the years to improve our waterfront. This funding for John Finley Walk is no different. I am elated to learn it is finally coming and proud to have worked alongside Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney to make it happen. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio, the Parks Department, and the Department of Transportation for being committed to these plans. Can't wait to see them finished."

 

"The East River Esplanade is one of our community's most vital open spaces, as it serves as an important barrier against rising storm waters. Throughout the pandemic, the esplanade has provided much-needed space to walk and connect with others while staying safe. It is absolutely critical that we fund necessary repairs to ensure the structural integrity of our waterfront, as well as create a welcoming, functional space that our community needs. We applaud the City for making this investment in our waterfront and look forward to working with our elected leaders and local advocates in order to see this project through to completion,” said Tricia Shimamura and Barry Schneider, Co-Chairs of the Parks and Waterfront -Committee for Manhattan Community Board 8.

 

“As always, EsplanadeFriends is grateful for any funding allocated to the waterfront,” said Jennifer Ratner and Stacy Papas of Friends of the East River Esplanade. “That said, in this case our understanding is that the funds are directed to much-needed structural repairs—obviously of paramount importance for safety. As for the ‘topside’—the pedestrian section—of this area, the Carl Schurz Park Conservancy does a beyond spectacular job of maintaining, landscaping and beautifying John Finley Walk. We can’t imagine that it can be improved upon...”

 

 

Background

 

Congresswoman Maloney founded the East River Esplanade Task Force in 2010 with former Council Member Jessica Lappin and now serves as the Co-Chair alongside Councilmember Ben Kallos.

 

In 2019, she proudly joined Mayor De Blasio, Borough President Gale Brewer, and Councilmember Kallos to announce $198 million in funding for ongoing repairs for the East River Esplanade.

 

In an August 3, 2020 letter, she wrote to Commissioner Silver calling for a full and complete inspection of the East River Esplanade following the sudden collapse of portions of the promenade resulting in a dangerous sinkhole at East 76th Street in mid-July. The Congresswoman also requested that the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation attend a virtual meeting with the East River Esplanade Task Force to create a plan for how the City can best address esplanade decay.

 

In October 2020, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation completed the East 76th Street sinkhole repair.

 

In January 2021, New York City committed $284 million to East River Esplanade repairs. The East River Esplanade has endured a series of sinkhole collapses and disrepair issues that the Congresswoman has worked to address.

 

 

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