Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery Joins State Parks Department to Commence Infrastructure Improvements to Roberto Clemente State Park
On Friday, June 6, State Director of Storm Recovery, Jamie Rubin, joined State Parks Commissioner, Rose Harvey and Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz, to celebrate a plan that will make Roberto Clemente State Park stronger and more resilient. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the initiative, which will replace a failing seawall and install a more robust bulkhead along the Harlem River. The strategies aim to protect park and residential infrastructure in the Morris Heights neighborhood of the Bronx.
The undertaking corresponds with the Governor’s ongoing efforts to help New York rebuild and reimagine, following the severe impact of Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Recognizing the new realities of extreme weather patterns, the State has set out to transform at-risk communities, making them better able to withstand future storms.
"Superstorm Sandy showed us just how devastating the new reality of extreme weather can be – and that is why we are actively working to reimagine our vital infrastructure and strengthen our communities with the next major storm in mind," Governor Cuomo said. "This project will rebuild an essential coastal protection measure for the Morris Heights neighborhood, helping to ensure that the area’s residents, businesses, and parks are safeguarded from the impact of future flooding. Our administration is pleased to be working with our federal and local partners to make this project a reality as we continue to build back stronger, smarter and better than ever before."
The project will be financed through approximately $46.5 million of Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (DBGD – DR) funding. In May, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) allocated a third and final tranche of such funding–$600 million– to continue addressing unmet recovery needs throughout New York State. The last round of aid brings New York’s total allocation to $8 billion, with $4.4 billion being set aside for NY Rising programs.
“Through all of our NY Rising programs, we aim to create a stronger, more resilient New York,” said State Director of Storm Recovery, Jamie Rubin. “Implementing storm mitigation measures in Roberto Clemente State Park is another example of this commitment, as we work to prioritize federal funding for the completion of critical infrastructure projects. Every day, through this undertaking and others like it, we are helping communities rebuild from recent storms, while also laying the groundwork to combat future weather events.”
Established in June 2013, the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) offers myriad services under the NY Rising umbrella, including the Housing, Small Business, Infrastructure and Community Reconstruction Programs. The Roberto Clemente project demonstrates the State’s continued commitment to assisting coastal neighborhoods to build back smarter and better than before.
As a 25-acre park with 3,700 linear feet of waterfront, Roberto Clemente State Park sustained significant damage when Superstorm Sandy left its mark on the region in October 2012. The 2,200-foot-long steel bulkhead at its center provides coastal defense for extensive park infrastructure, as well as for an adjacent residential complex and nearby school buildings. Resiliency measures are also critically-important to maintain the MetroNorth Railroad line, and a major power transmission line that serves the borough. Although the latest initiative will spur post-storm recovery, it also strives to implement and promote enduring strategies for protecting lives, increasing public safety and shielding infrastructure from the devastating effects of storms, flooding, and wave/ tidal action.
Named after the first Latino-American inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Roberto Clemente State Park attracts 1.3 million visitors each year.
To read the Governor’s press release about the event, visit: http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/06062014-strengthen-roberto-clemente-park