Nearly two years after Hurricane Sandy, hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid are coming to three areas of the city to make them more resistant to flooding. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.
Big changes are coming just north of the Williamsburg Bridge. Obama administration officials on Monday announced funding for a novel idea: A big barrier hugging the coast. In bad weather, it would stop deadly river surge.
But most of the time, locals will think of it as just a nice place for a stroll and more.
"It's the way New York has to go. We're a coastal city. We have to live with the water, as well as protect ourselves from it," said Roland Lewis of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance.
Public housing near the FDR Drive also stands to benefit.
The plan calls for new or expanded bridges to take residents to the water. Many say they feel cut off from the shore, though it's only a couple of blocks away. It's a similar concept in Staten Island's Tottenville neighborhood. It's also a winner.
Battered by Sandy, the area needs a way to blunt waves.
This project calls for reefs. It would protect the coast while also inviting aquatic life to move into the underwater breakwaters.
Humans would have better amenities onshore, too.
A pilot project at Hunts Point in the Bronx is also funded. Food moving through there feeds 22 million people.
The region dodged a bullet that flooding from Sandy didn't destroy it. Proposals protect it from the next time, when we may not be as lucky.
"If the storm hit at a different time, we would not have only been wondering how to get to work on the subways. We would have been wondering what to eat at dinner. Because much of the food that we rely on would not have been available," Lewis said.
Not every borough is funded, Queens and Brooklyn are not. A plan in Rockaway Park called for an elevated subway platform to encourage a livelier commercial strip.
"Rockaway has been neglected for far too long. And the hurricane, for better or for worse, really shed the light on the plight and the issues that have been facing the people of Rockaway for generations," said City Councilman Eric Ulrich.
Three other projects across the region are also slated to be funded, one in Nassau County on Long Island, another in Hoboken, N.J. and one in the Meadowlands.