Pol gets city to pay for promenade fix

City to fix sinkholes plaguing Shore Road Promenade
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto

They’re fixing a hole — actually about 30 of them.

The Parks Department finally has the dough to repair more than two dozen sinkholes that riddle the Shore Road Promenade — seven months after the department announced that it intended to primp up the sagging esplanade but didn’t have a dime to do it.

Councilman Vincent Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) got the agency’s commissioner to fill that budgetary hole, and now the department is moving on a $500,000 plan to plug the pock-marked promenade from 69th Street to Bay Parkway.

And this won’t just be a quick patch job, Gentile said.

“We’re not just throwing tar down there — they’re going to dig up the holes and figure out what’s going on,” Gentile said. “Ultimately there’s got to be a multi-million-dollar project that addresses the underlying problem of the water washing away the bike path and pedestrian path. It’s an issue that has to be looked at in a broader, longer-term framework, but we don’t have that luxury right now.”

Gentile appealed to parks commissioner Mitchell Silver directly, telling the green space maven that the fissures posed a serious safety hazard, he said.

Indeed, cyclists have reported scrapes and dinged bikes after hitting the holes on their rides, and the community board office gets complaints about the issue nearly every week, a local leader said.

“As recently as Monday I had two cyclists come into the office to ask if there was a plan,” said Community Board 10 district manager Josephine Beckmann.

The promenade has a shaky history. It collapsed in 2005 and the Army Corps of Engineers deemed a two-mile stretch of the path an “emergency,” letting the city fast-track a $20-million project to shore up the greenway and supporting seawall that wrapped up in 2007.

But the holes resurfaced after Hurricane Sandy, and the path’s complexion has been getting worse since, Beckmann said.

Parks plans to start the reconstruction at 69th Street by month’s end, and the park will remain open during the work, but parks honchos haven’t issued a completion date, Gentile said.

The fix can’t come soon enough, according to Beckmann.

“This is really going to be a welcome relief,” she said. “The promenade is a neighborhood jewel.”

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Underlying condition: A recently filled hole is already sinking again. The community board’s district manager said the cave-ins are likely connected to broken sewer outfalls.
Photo by Georgine Benvenuto