South Williamsburg ferry stop to close for 10 weeks for $6.7M revamp

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

Sea-faring travelers in southern Williamsburg will be stranded on land for up to 10 weeks, when the local NYC Ferry stop on Kent Avenue will be closed for a $6.7 million overhaul at the end of March, according to city officials.

The city’s quasi-public Economic Development Corporation, the agency in charge of the ferry system, plans to replace the current single berth at the South Williamsburg stop with a new barge capable of docking two boats at a time, along with upgrades to the pier’s entrance at S. 10th Street to make it more wheelchair-friendly, according to an agency rep.

“The landing is one of our oldest landings,” said Radhy Miranda at a virtual meeting with local Community Board 1’s Transportation committee on March 3. “So we are going to upgrade it, we’re gonna completely replace it and make sure that it is [Americans with Disabilities Act]-accessible, can handle more boats and make sure that it’s more efficient and bring it up to speed and up to date with the rest of the system.”

The revamp, which was supposed to start early last year but was postponed due to the pandemic, will include a new barge big enough for a passenger shelter and space for two vessels at the same time. 

The agency will also add a strip of cobblestones to the entryway at S. 10th Street because the existing asphalt pavers have settled, creating a 1-inch dip that’s challenging to roll over in a wheelchair.

EDC will install a strip of new cobblestones where the current asphalt pavers have settled creating a 1-inch dip.NYC EDC

The renovations will provide wiring to the electric grid, move the ticket box from the street entrance closer to the pier ramp, and add three removable bollards at the entrance gate. 

EDC wants to start construction as soon as late March or early April and will close the maritime transit stop for between eight and 10 weeks, with a goal to wrap up on Memorial Day weekend, according to officials. 

The adjacent waterfront open space at Schaefer Landing will not be accessible from the S. 10th Street entrance during that time, but the esplanade will still open from its S. Ninth Street entry, according to officials.