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Staten Island sea wall, and $151 million in state funding, approved by Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo approved $151 million in funding

Governor Andrew Cuomo approved $151 million in funding for a sea wall and promenade on Staten Island. Photo Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation Tuesday to allocate $151 million in state funding to build a promenade and seven-mile-long sea wall to protect Staten Island against coastal flooding.

Cuomo, a Democrat, said the state would solicit feedback from borough residents about the proposed promenade, which could feature amenities such as easier beach access, walking paths and wetland habitats.

The sea wall, which would stretch from from Staten Island’s Fort Wadsworth to Oakwood Beach sections, is intended to prevent the kind of devastating damage caused by superstorm Sandy in 2012.

“I have been through, in my short term as governor, about 10, 1-in-100-year occurrences,” Cuomo said at a signing ceremony on Staten Island. “That’s what they always say: ‘This is a 1-in-100-year flood.’ Yeah. Except it happens twice a year.”

He said, “climate change, extreme weather, whatever you want to call it, it is an undeniable reality.”

The wall, which will cost a total of about $613 million, will be constructed up to 20 feet above sea level with the help of the Army Corps of Engineers.

In addition to the state’s $151 million, New York City has committed $64 million and the federal government will pay the balance.

Cuomo’s office said the promenade could accommodate events including outdoor concerts, bicycle races and marathons. Those amenities are intended to attract tourists and boost the borough’s economy, like the High Line park did for the far West Side in Manhattan.

The design is due to be complete in 2018. Construction would start in 2019 and be done in 2022, under current plans.

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