Global design firm Stantec has revealed preliminary designs for the Battery Coastal Resilience Project, a $129 million New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) initiative to save The Battery (formerly known as Battery Park) from rising tides. Located at the southern tip of island, the nearly 200-year-old, 25-acre park is one of Manhattan’s most iconic public spaces, yet its current elevation puts the wharf and the waterfront area at risk of significant flooding. Stantec’s proposed redesign would not only raise the elevation of the waterfront esplanade but also maintain universal accessibility to the wharf with ramps and pathways.
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Developed as part of the Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency (LMCR) project to address climate vulnerability, The Battery redesign project was launched to protect the public space from rising sea levels over the next 80 years and to enhance the park for the benefit of locals and tourists alike. Key to the redesign will be the reconstruction of the deteriorating wharf that will include raising the waterfront esplanade by approximately 5 feet for a total of 11 feet above Mean Sea Level. Engineering challenges include in-water construction, interior drainage and a seamless integration of the new wharf integration to the existing park that follows Universal Design principles.
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“The Battery is one of New York City’s most beloved parks, but it faces significant flooding challenges if the wharf remains at its current elevation,” said Amy Seek, design director at Stantec. “Our goal through this project is to seamlessly integrate critical infrastructure upgrades into the park, without sacrificing its sweeping views of New York Harbor, bountiful plant life, and historic features.”
The concept design, which was first displayed at a public meeting on March 24, is also expected to address the preservation and enhancement of the park’s character and historic resources. It will accommodate passenger ferry uses. The project is expected to break ground in late 2022 following several design iterations.