Over the next three years the New York State DOT will make extensive repairs on the FDR Drive between East 54th and East 63rd Streets. During the reconstruction the State DOT will detour motorists on a temporary road in the East River adjacent to the FDR.
Over the last two years, as the State built the temporary roadway, advocates and community leaders asked the DOT to leave the roadway in place after the highway project is finished in 2007 and convert it to a greenway path. The floating roadway could become a key off-street link in the East River and Manhattan Waterfront Greenways.
The State DOT researched the possibilities, taking into account the temporary structureís design, maintenance needs and long-term environmental impacts and determined that it would be more expensive to maintain the temporary roadway as a permanent greenway than to disassemble it build a new path. According to the State DOT, the Army Corps of Engineers, which has jurisdiction over the East River here because itís a navigable waterway, authorized the temporary road on the condition that it would be designed to last not much longer than the FDR repairs and then disassembled after the project ends.
Though the State DOT has no concrete plans to bridge the greenway gap between East 54th and East 63rd Streets, examining the possibilities surrounding the FDRís temporary road spurred the agency to take a fresh look at Eastside greenway projects between 25th and 63rd Streets. Encourage them to keep searching for a way to fix this gap.