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Increased flooding, more rain and storms, and higher temperatures are all predicted in a new report by the Bloomberg Administration. Over 800,000 residents are expected to live in flood plains by 2050, more than double the number currently estimated at risk. By that time, 90 degree days could become as regular as they are in Birmingham, Ala. Heat waves kill more people than storms. Sea levels are anticipated to rise four to eight inches by 2020. Bloomberg will give a speech today about how the city will begin preparing for this new climate.
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City lawmakers are holding a hearing today to discuss the state of ferry service in the five boroughs, with advocates and transportation experts expected to testify in support of expanding use of the waterways for transit.
The disruption to subways and buses by Superstorm Sandy brought renewed attention to the potential of the city's "blue highways." For instance, when the subway to the isolated Rockaway Peninsula was knocked out, emergency ferry service provided a critical connection for commuters needing to get to Manhattan.
Advocates say expanded ferry service would create redundancy to the transit network, connect far-flung communities that have no other reliable transit and be available during emergencies.
Gotham Gazette took an in-depth look at the issue back in April.
The joint hearing of the Council's transportation, waterfront and economic development committees begins at 1 p.m. today.
Construction on what has been described as New York City’s longest-running and most expensive construction project — a tunnel to expand the capacity of the water supply system — reached a new milestone yesterday. And it was ahead of schedule.
Work on Manhattan sections of the tunnel have been taking place seven days-a-week — on multiple shifts.
The project is one arm of the extensive network of tunnels, aqueducts and reservoirs that comprise the city's remarkable water supply system.
Approximately 2,750 feet of new trunk water mains have been installed on the Upper East Side, along with upgrades to existing mains. The work was executed by the city’s departments of Environmental Protection and Design and Construction, who report that the $38 million construction project was completed five months early.
According to the DEP, trunk water mains range in size from 30 to 48 inches and “serve as a conduit between the large water tunnel shafts and the smaller water mains that make up the local distribution networks."
The hard-earned lessons of Superstorm Sandy shaped a mayoral forum yesterday where candidates fielded questions on waterfront development, expanding ferry service and creating a new agency to oversee the city's vast coastline. "Make no mistake," said Democratic candidate and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, "you get to say once, 'It was an unprecedented storm.' You don't get to do that again." Six candidates were asked to respond to policy proposals put forward by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance that touches on everything from docks to land use. The public also got to submit questions. Continue reading the story on the Gotham Gazette to see what the other candidates had to say ...
Cuomo Proposes Bribes Legislation (Wall Street Journal)
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As politicians begin taking more seriously the possible construction of a sea barrier, Gov. Cuomo will travel to Washington today seeking over $40 billion in aid -- a large chunk of which will go towards protection from future storms. The Washington Post backed up similar thinking, calling big spending on preparation well worth it. But of course, planning will be difficult, and it's much more complicated than just walling of the city from nature. Future development should come into consideration; like new plans for Flushing Meadows Park in Queens. Some say the park's role as natural buffer against flooding would be compromised by the proposed stadiums and malls. And then there's the gas pipeline planned for construction under The Rockaways. Environmentalists say flooding in the area threatens its stability.
In the Press...
Behind a Call That Kept Nursing Home Patients in Stormâ€™s Path (NY Times)
New Yorkers Denied Aid by FEMA (Daily News)
NYCHA to Postpone Evictions for Sandy Victims Until Feb '13 (Daily News)