Just received this email from Congresswoman Maloney's office stating that the US Army Corps of Engineers has approved permit application for construction of Ferry Dock at Roosevelt Island. I will find out what else needs to be done in order to finally get East River ferry service to Roosevelt Island.
Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Roosevelt Island, Manhattan, Queens) announced today that the United States Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) has approved the permit application of Octagon LP to construct a water taxi dock on Roosevelt Island. Representative Maloney, who urged the federal agency to render a decision on the water dock permit application in order to improve transportation options for local residents, noted that water taxi service will increase Roosevelt Island’s accessibility and security.Good job by Congresswomen Maloney.
"I am pleased that Army Corps of Engineers has chosen to increase the safety and convenience of Roosevelt Island residents by granting approval to construct this water taxi dock,” said Congresswoman Maloney. "It is a good day when government agencies, private companies, and elected officials can work together in the public interest to improve the quality of life for those whom we serve. With Roosevelt Island residents struggling to board overcrowded subway trains during morning rush hour and the prospect of temporarily losing Tram service while it is rehabilitated, providing other transportation options becomes even more critical,” she said. Congresswoman Maloney also vowed to continue to work closely with public and private sector leaders to ensure that water taxi service becomes a reality for Roosevelt Islanders.
On September 21, 2007, Congresswoman Maloney wrote to Commander Robert L. Van Antwerp of ACE to press the federal agency to render a decision on the long-pending application submitted by Octagon LP to construct the water taxi dock. The application was initially filed more than a year and a half ago seeking a permit to construct a dock near Octagon Park on the northern end of Roosevelt Island. “The water taxi would provide alternative routes to Manhattan for residents of Roosevelt Island,” wrote Representative Maloney in her letter.
In correspondence, ACE Lieutenant Commander M.T. McBrady expressed the agency’s opinion that “the northeastern shoreline of Roosevelt Island across from Hallet’s Cove would be a much better location for the project,” but also noted, “we are satisfied that the design and operational controls... adequately address” ACE’s previous concerns over the proposed original siting, adding that the proposed site near Octagon Park “does not degrade navigation safety to an unacceptable level in our view.”
Representative Maloney has been a vigorous and effective advocate for her constituents on Roosevelt Island since her election to Congress. In 2002, she worked with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation to help secure a $250,000 matching grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historical Preservation to repair and restore one of the Island’s notable landmarks, Blackwell House. After the subway station was built on Roosevelt Island, Rep. Maloney secured $700,000 in federal highway funds to install surveillance cameras in the station to provide better security. She also successfully urged ACE to undertake the $500,000 study documenting failings in the Island’s Seawall. Congresswoman Maloney has also consistently been involved with a range of other issues affecting Roosevelt Island, including fighting for better policing and successfully fighting for the reopening of the Tramway following suggestions from some quarters in the wake of the April 2006 breakdown in service that it be mothballed in perpetuity. She continues to work closely with her fellow elected officials representing Roosevelt Island to present a forceful and united voice for its residents.
Image is from NY Times
Roosevelt Island 360 has more here.
Update: Roosevelt Island 360 has statement from RIOC President Steve Shane and Octagon developer Bruce Becker on the ferry dock approval. According to Becker:
We've been in discussions with New York Water Taxi for the last three years about bringing service to Roosevelt Island and adding our stop to planned routes up the East River. When service is established we expect to have service running to 34th Street and Wall Street. Eventually we hope there are many more options.