Plans to use a bike and pedestrian route along Brooklyn's Waterfront to help prevent flooding, in the event of another Hurricane Sandy, are moving along gradually. NY1's Angi Gonzalez spoke to those working the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative to find out where things stand today.
The creation of the Brooklyn Greenway has been a long road for Milton Puryear.
"We got started in '98," Puryear said.
Puryear is the co-founder of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, which will create a bike and pedestrian route along Brooklyn's waterfront, from Greenpoint to Sunset Park has spent more than a decade trying to turn the idea into reality.
“This was not an idea of government. This was an idea of residents,” said Puryear.
Although the federal Department of Transportation has played a significant role, it took plenty of work and some creative thinking by supporters to move the project along.
After Hurricane Sandy, they realized that if the Greenway was made part of federal flood mitigation efforts, it could qualify for more funding.
"Since 2015, we undertook 2 studies to determine the extent to which the greenway's construction in Red Hook and Sunset Park could protect those communities from floods," said Puryear.
That was done by Dewberry-New York, an architectural, engineering and consulting firm that specializes in this kind of work.
"The Greenway is a great place to go out on your bike. So if you can put your bike on a berm…and then when the surge wave comes in, it protects the community from being flooded you get 2 bangs for your buck," said John Boule, the Senior VP and branch manager for Dewberry New York.
The next major undertaking for the initiative will be the creation of Columbia Waterfront Park in Cobble Hill.
The planned greenspace will also serve as a flood barrier system at a price tag around $10 million.
"We put in $500,000 and I’m looking to allocate more capital…We need the state and the city to put in its share," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
The New York State Department of State has contributed about $1 million to the effort but supporters of the plan including Borough President Adams hope that Mayor de Blasio will help come up with the difference.
"I’m pretty sure he can embrace the concept and we’re looking to get the support we need," said Adams.
NY1 reached out to the Mayor's office for comment and have yet to hear back.