Roosevelt Island opens Southpoint Park renovation: see it

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ROOSEVELT ISLAND, NY – An $ 11 million project to expand access to the Roosevelt Island waterfront park opened over the weekend, officials said, giving people the chance to get closer to the island’s shore like never before.

The project was first announced in early 2020, described as a necessary step to rehabilitate the decaying seawall at Southpoint Park on the southern end of the island.

After nearly two years of construction, the new district open saturday, as Roosevelt Islander first reported. It includes widened waterfront walks where previously there were only fenced areas thick with vegetation.

Some aspects were revised in the face of community opposition: The benches opposite the East River have been repositioned to face the water, and a walkway on the Queens side of the island has been widened after complaints from residents, Roosevelt Islander reported.

(Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

Southpoint Park opened in August 2011, months before Hurricane Sandy devastated the city’s coastline. The renovations were designed to protect the coasts of Roosevelt Island from future storms by adding 34,000 square feet of new native plants, encouraging wildlife and insects while protecting approximately 1,600 feet of shoreline.

The opening was officially announced by Governor Kathy Hochul on Monday – on budget and ahead of schedule. (The state controls the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, which governs the island.)

“Super Storm Sandy has shown us how real and devastating climate change can be,” RIOC Chairman Shelton Haynes said in a statement on Monday.

(Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

“Our mitigation efforts to protect and enhance the Southpoint Park shoreline were necessary and forward thinking. The bonus is that we have created a holistic waterfront oasis at the same time – something we are very proud of and look forward to our residents and visitors to enjoy. “


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