5-mile long 80-foot high rock barrier planned to protect New York Harbor from future storms

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 03, 2012 12:30 hrs

After Hurricane Sandy, there are plans to built a 80-foot rock barrier rising from the Atlantic Ocean to harness New York Harbor and its surrounding waterways to protect the city from future storms.

The barrier planned will be stretching for 5 miles from Breezy Point, Queens, to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, which would have a new highway.

According to the New York Daily News, it has also been suggested there could be a 1,700-foot wall spanning the Arthur Kill, designed by CDM Smith, which will include a pedestrian walkway, a bike path, hydroelectric power and a system of locks for passing ships.

Or maybe a towering structure in the shadow of the Verrazano Bridge, with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop, complete with twin 640-foot gates, the report said.

"I've been hearing a lot more people are interested," Jonathan Goldstick, a vice president at CH2M Hill, the global engineering/construction company behind the Breezy Point plan, said.

"I'm hearing politicians are getting interested," he said, adding: "There's a whole range of solutions to consider that people hadn't heard of before the storm."

According to the report, changing the seascape around the skyline became a hotter topic as the estimate for New York state damages climbed to a staggering 41.9 billion dollars one month after the killer hurricane blew out of town.

Sandy's aftermath created "the worst economic crisis in New York history," veteran Republican Peter King said.

Count City Council President Christine Quinn is one who has proposed a solution. She has proposed a 16 billion dollars storm surge barrier as part of a possible plan to safeguard the city.

Senator Chuck Schumer (Democrat New York) has asked for a study to examine all the available options given by people, including storm barriers.

William Solecki, a climate change expert at Hunter College, thinks a mixture of measures that could possibly include a barrier is the right approach.

"If you put a lot of stock in one structure, your system has a lot of fragility," Solecki said, adding: "If it fails, the results could be catastrophic."

There are also questions about whether the barriers could protect the entire city, or if certain sections would be left treading water while their neighbors remained high and dry, the report added. (ANI)

More from Sify: