New York City finally made public a report — which it first claimed did not exist — on the East River Park reconstruction plan, but redacted dozens of pages of key details.
Among the missing information is who worked on the “value engineering study” and a list of advantages and disadvantages of alternative construction plans.
East River Park Action, which opposes the city’s plan to bury the park in eight to 10 feet of fill and then rebuild it as a flood protection measure, submitted a Freedom of Information Law request for the study and was told in January no record of it could be found.
The city finally released the 2018 report after East River Park Action appealed the FOIL decision.
”The lack of transparency in this $1.45 billion public project is unconscionable.
These redactions are just a pattern of disdain that the city has shown toward our community,” said Tommy Loeb, a member of East River Park Action.
“First they ignored the input of the community, then acted as if this report did not exist and then it magically appeared and was redacted without justification.”
The city used the value engineering report as the basis for ditching another flood protection plan that would not have decimated the 57-acre park. The report says the plan to raise the level of the park would save $319 million.
“This project will protect vulnerable New Yorkers from extreme weather and rising sea levels, while improving an iconic public space for generations to come. It’s a global model and we’re proud to deliver it,” said Ian Michaels, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Design and Construction.
City Hall did not immediately comment on why the report was redacted.