It’s been nearly five months since the East River Ferry departed from the India St. pier, depriving locals of an efficient and affordable commuting option, and it looks like that mode of transportation will not return until mid-2022.
Greenpointers spoke with Lendlease about the India Street Pier and received disappointing, albeit unsurprising, news. Lendlease has confirmed that ferry service to Greenpoint is expected to return in June 2022.
“Lendlease is committed to bringing the ferry back as safely and sustainably as possible,” voiced Isaac Henderson, the Development Director at Lendlease. Henderson pointed to the fact that the ferry has been shut down in the past, and said that Lendlease is committed to fixing the problem in the right way so that service does not need to be paused again.
There are two major factors contributing to the long wait until June 2022, Lendlease says. The first is the length of the permit process with three separate government agencies, and the second is a moratorium on in-water construction in place by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation that ends May 2022. This moratorium is in place to protect aquatic life in the waters surrounding Brooklyn and the other boroughs.
The permitting process could take as long as 6 to 9 months. Both environmental and construction permits must be obtained through the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the NYC Small Business Services. Lendlease says, “We are working with these agencies to expedite this process as much as possible.” Henderson said that next month, Lendlease will submit their formal application to Small Business Service.
When the moratorium ends in May, construction on the Greenpoint ferry stop will commence and last about 4 to 6 weeks. Henderson said that he anticipates construction to move quickly as only 5 or 6 piles are effected. At the completion of construction ferry service will be restored, which is anticipated to be the end of June 2022.
Since the shut down in May, Lendlease has hired a metallurgist to help with the investigation and research to fully understand why the piles were damaged. Henderson said it is difficult to pinpoint exactly why this happened but possible explanations include wear and tear over time and the repetitive impact of the boats. After researching what went wrong, Lendlease began working on construction design and engineering with architects.
Greenpoint residents may have noticed a vessel attached to the India Street Pier for the past couple of weeks. Henderson explained that the crew has been drilling borings, so they could be completely ready to go when the permit process is completed and the moratorium is over.
An update from Lendlease to residents of The Greenpoint at 21 India Street also mentioned work on the borings and provided insight on work in coming weeks. The update said, “The Abatement and Demolition Phase is coming to completion. Over the coming weeks, final testing and inspection work will take place…
Week of October 11, 2021: Geotech borings for ferry & shoreline work. Week of October 18, 2021: Pavement patching throughout the site.”
Access to the pier remains open to the public 6 a.m. – 10 p.m. Fencing is being relocated back to the property line to make the pier more accessible.