“The Architect’s Newspaper:
VENICE ON THE HUDSON?
New York considers massive floodgates to protect against storms.
by Alex Ulam. Dec 3, 2012
Hurricane Sandy has made it abundantly clear that addressing New York’s vulnerability to storm surges and rising sea levels is of paramount importance. Through the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, the Bloomberg Administration has commissioned a study of major flood barrier infrastructure, with a draft report due in February.
“This hurricane has put everything upside down,” said Jeroen Aerts. Aerts, a professor of environmental studies at the Free University of Amsterdam, spoke in a phone interview from Holland, where he has been working for the past few years on the draft report.
Aerts said that his instructions from the city were to do a cost-benefit analysis of two strategies. “One is looking at upgrading the current regulations—focusing more on building codes, zoning regulations, and flood insurance—as compared to developing levees and surge barriers,” he said.
Currently, Aerts and his team are analyzing two gate options. One, which would cost about $10 billion, involves a set of gates running between Sandy Hook and Breezy Point, and another in the East River in the area of Throgs Neck and the Whitestone Bridge. The second option, estimated to cost about $17 billion, involves three to four barriers that would cut off the Arthur Kill tidal strait between New Jersey and Staten Island, the Verrazano Narrows, the East River, and perhaps Jamaica Bay.”