Puddles turn to ponds in The Battery


December weather left mini-floods along Battery Place on Monday, with puddles reaching 100 feet long and 15 feet wide.

Liz Williams, a member of Community Board 1 and Financial District resident, said she was shocked at the site of what she labeled “Battery Lake.” “The next day there was a freeze warning, and the whole thing could have tuned into ice,” Williams said in an e-mail.

The Parks Department along with the Downtown Alliance, who was contacted by Williams, drained the puddles within a couple of hours, a common practice when there is a significant amount of rain.

The area had major renovation work two years ago when the State Department of Transportation finished rebuilding the southern end of Route 9A.

Joseph Timpone, senior vice president of operation for the Downtown Alliance, said: “It’s inconceivable how you can do a multi-million dollar project and leave a sidewalk like that.”

But Adam Levine, spokesperson for D.O.T., said, “We are confident the ponding is not due to the project we completed.” He said after the South Promenade Project was finished in 2006, the agency received complaints of large puddles in the surrounding area and D.O.T. fixed the problem then. He said the new problem is likely due to sidewalk alternations done in conjunction with the South Ferry subway renovation or the renovation of Pier A.

Timpone said officials with the Battery Conservatory told him recently that the plan to extend the park will include repairing the sidewalk and should be done in 2010. He said the Alliance and Parks Dept. will monitor the area in the meantime. On Wednesday morning, a day after heavy rains and sleet, there were no large puddles in the area.

— Candida L. Figueroa