Ferries will return to Dumbo pier this weekend

south williamsburg ferry
An NYC Ferry in the East River.
File photo by Todd Maisel

All aboard!

NYC Ferry service will return to Dumbo at the Brooklyn waterfront on Saturday, June 19, following a more than 10-week, $4.7-million overhaul of the pier.

The city’s business-boosting Economic Development Corporation, which manages the waterborne transit system, moved the berth from Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 to the nearby Fulton Ferry Landing, allowing two vessels to dock at a time instead of just one and making it easier for skippers to maneuver the boats amid East River currents.

It will also enable the floating music venue Bargemusic, which was previously locked in by the dock, to be moved out of its space for maintenance.

EDC closed the stop on April 5 to set up the new barge, which also includes a wheelchair-accessible gangway and more than a dozen massive fenders in front of the wooden platform as part of the renovation.

The Dumbo landing will serve the ferry’s East River route between Wall Street and Hunters Point South in Queens and the South Brooklyn route, between Corlears Hook on the Lower East Side and Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

Situated at the foot of Old Fulton Street, the Fulton Ferry Landing was the site of the original Brooklyn Ferry, which first set sail across the East River to Manhattan in 1642, and was refurbished into a cherished open space with splendid views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Big Apple in 1997.

The 24-year-old pier boasts railings lined with Walt Whitman’s famous poem “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” and bronze reliefs in the deck depicting historic scenes, such as local Native American settlements and the original sailboat crossings.

Area preservationists previously raised concerns about moving the city’s ferry to the new location, saying that the routinely long lines for the boats and an oyster bar set to open on the other side of the pier this summer would leave little space for folks who don’t want to spend money on food or queue for a boat.

They also worried that the city’s plans to queue people near the front of the pier will block access to the poem and the reliefs.

However, greenspace gurus with Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, which manages the Fulton Ferry Landing, said locals’ fears of privatization and overcrowding were unwarranted given that the dock has been home to concessions for years and that it made sense to run the ferry from a historic docking location.

The Dumbo pier is one of three that has been out of operation in Brooklyn in recent months, a third of all stops in the borough serving the heavily-subsidized ferry system.

Further north, EDC is wrapping up a similar $6.7 million redesign of the South Williamsburg stop, which started at the same time and the agency expects to open back up later this month.

In Greenpoint, the pier was taken out of action on May 23 after a captain discovered damage to the landing’s piles.

That dock, unlike the others in the system, is privately-owned by multinational developer Lendlease and a spokeswoman for the firm told amNewYork Metro that the stop will remain closed for several months so they can replace all four broken support structures.

EDC advises riders to check the new schedule for the East River route effective when the Dumbo stop reopens on June 19. For more info visit ferry.nyc/routes-and-schedules.