On May 25, 2022, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), NYC Health + Hospitals, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray, and community members commemorated the groundbreaking of a new flood protection system project at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan in East Harlem.
The project includes a perimeter flood wall and an upgraded storm water pumping system. The wall will vary in height from eight to twelve feet, and includes resilient floodgates of up to 35 feet wide. The system is designed to keep out water from the hospital campus, which will allow for minimized damage and continued operations in the event of a major storm. Additional improvements will be made to protect loading docks, and to lighting, erosion control, fire protection and security. The basement walls will be hardened and areas of the hospital campus will be reconfigured to support these new features.
Local artist Miguel Luciano was selected by a committee from NYCEDC, Health + Hospitals, the Department of Cultural Affairs and community members to create artwork for the design of the flood wall. The artwork will integrate infrastructure improvements into the community.
The project is expected to cost $120 million and will be funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Construction is expected to go until summer 2024. For updates on the project, click here.
Mayor Eric Adams stated, “The climate crisis is here, and we must ensure that New York City is ready for more frequent and more extreme weather events, especially at critical infrastructure sites, like our hospitals. This flood resiliency project shows federal, state, and city government partnership at its best — getting stuff done to protect New Yorkers. This flood wall will ensure the health care heroes at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan can continue fully serving their patients and helping them get better for generations to come.”
NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan Chief Executive Office Cristina Contreras stated, “We are grateful for the partnership with both the federal and local government to build a stronger and more resilient protection for our hospital. This comprehensive and innovative infrastructure project will mitigate the weaknesses exposed by Superstorm Sandy and provide our staff with the peace of mind of knowing that if we should experience any future natural weather disasters, the hospital and the community will be protected, and they can focus on what they do best – providing high-quality care for our patients and their families.”
By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)