Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

Mayor de Blasio Proposes $10 Billion Plan To Extend Manhattan Shoreline

March 14, 2019 - 3:28 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan to protect lower Manhattan from rising sea levels by extending its shoreline.

Officials have been developing designs that would reinforce NYC's waterfront ever since 2012 Superstorm Sandy destroyed multiple homes and businesses.  

The very lowest-lying areas such as the eastern edge of lower Manhattan, South Street Seaport and Financial District are the most difficult to protect because they only lie eight feet above the water line. 

In de Blasio's plan, the city would build out the lower Manhattan shoreline and extend it by as much as 500 feet into the East River.

Currently, the land that is beneath them is blocked by utility sewers and subway lines so barriers cannot be built on the existing land but the city is installing temporary barriers to help protect these areas from flooding during upcoming hurricane season. 

Since nothing like this has been done in the history of the city, the mayor feels that his plan is audacious but necessary. 

"We will initiate an effort that is estimated costs $10 billion to extend the shoreline of lower Manhattan into the East River," he said.

The mayor hopes to secure federal funding for his plan, but acknowledges the city might have to turn to developers, who would then build on the land. 

The earliest projected completion for this project would be 2025.