MCP_6863 79th St Boat Basin G B 5 27 15  MP_resize
Congressman Jerry Nadler, Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver and other local officials shovel the first scoops of dirt in the reconstruction of the A-Dock.

It’s been nearly three years since the 370-foot pier at the 79th street Marina was damaged during Hurricane Sandy, but the structure hasn’t been repaired in that time. The “A-dock” was smashed and submerged under the water, drooping sadly in the middle, as can be seen in the photos below. Built in 1937, it was the marina’s most heavily used pier and the only one historically open to the public.

Boat owners have been miffed as they waited for repairs, with one recently telling us that he gave up his boat slip because of the delays.

“I am an avid boater. I kept my boat at this marina for 5 years but it is very poorly managed and dangerous.  I finally gave up my boat slip due to the mismanagement. It is very sad since this is prime prime upper west side real estate and totally mismanaged. It could be an amazing summer boating location. It should be turned over to a private company and not be managed by the parks department. These are our tax dollars being wasted. Why is the dock sunk at the start of the boating season?”

Well, boat owners have finally gotten their wish, as the parks department is now repairing the dock. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Wednesday.

Picnic tables are coming back too, so you can dine at the end of the pier, according to the Riverside Park Conservancy. The project is being funded by FEMA and the mayor’s office.

“The existing 370-foot pier will be demolished. Wooden pilings will be replaced with concrete-filled steel piles and the upper decking will be replaced,  including new railings and pier utilities. The wave screen will be reconstructed to provide protection to the rest of the marina from passing vessel wakes and damaging ice floes during the winter. Picnic tables for public use will again be placed at the western end of the pier.

The pier provides access to a floating kayak launch and to the sailboat mooring field via the floating dinghy docks along the pier’s northern face. Parks dedicates the western face of A-Dock to visiting historic tall ships including the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and Schooner Mystic Whaler. These and other educational vessels visit the Boat Basin each summer, staying anywhere from several nights to several weeks, to offer hands-on marine education to school groups and general public sails. A-Dock has hosted the Boat Basin’s popular Marina Open Houses, Meet the Dockmasters, and water safety events and has been the launching point for kayak races and organized swims around Manhattan.

This $7.8 million project will be the first complete reconstruction of the pier since its construction in 1937. Work is expected to be complete by early 2016.”


boat dock 79
A crane begins work on the dock.

(click to enlarge)

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 13 comments | permalink
    1. Riverside Boulevarder says:

      FYI: The “A” dock was condemned due to rotten and broken pilings more than a year before Super Storm Sandy.

      • joe says:

        The politicians with the shovels in the picture should be condemned

      • Lorraine says:

        At least! I had lost all hope of them ever repairing it and reopening it to the public. This is my favorite spot so I couldn’t be happier!

    2. Frank says:

      How wonderful that the politicians and bureaucrats are smiling so broadly in the photo. If they had been in office in 1942 we’d all be goose-stepping and speaking German or Japanese today. Almost three years for them to repair one dock? Simply disgraceful. Welcome to 21st Century America.

      • Upper West Side Wally says:

        Goose stepping? German? Japanese? I don’t see the connection with the slow repair repair of a marina that half the UWS has been decrying fo.r years for being a waste of taxpayers money for the convenience of a few luxury boat owners.

        • JR says:

          Hey Wally, get with the facts. The dock they are talking about repairing is the only part of the marina that has public accesss and does not have boats on it. Other than the dingees for the mooring field, it is strictly a public area. In addition, the boat basin raises a significant amount of revenue for the City and is one of the few profit centers in the NYC Parks department.

          • Upper West Side Wally says:

            The dingys serve them thar luxury boat owners, not the UWS. But you’re right about the public access of the dock.
            But I’m still at a loss about the ‘goose-stepping Germans and Japanese’…

            • JR says:

              The dingees can be stored somewhere else; Dock A is not critical for that. Agree with you about the goosestepping coment. I have no idea what that is all about. Cheers.

            • JR says:

              Opps I meant dingys

    3. gevence says:

      400 tour helicopters a day on the weekends & holidays and pretty steady on the weekdays 365 days of the year! I sold my kayak and don’t even go down there anymore. Thanks Mayor and your buddy Kyle from the nycedc. Its a disgrace.

      • Upper West Side Wally says:

        I did the math and took a walk Down RSP; you’re right! It’s those tourist choppers that create a lot of noise polution.

    4. Bonnie Rapaport says:

      The equipment makes the path adjacent to the water
      Quite dangerous for runners.. As there is no room for
      Bikers to clear room to avoid hitting them and other
      Pedestrians… Attention should be given to this matter!

    5. aaron says:

      I feel sorry for the people who had to dump that fine top soil on the pier.