Megan McArdle says, forget about building massive flood gates in NYC

And she’s right – it would never clear the lawsuits and environmental hurdles. Rebuilding the West Side Highway proved impossible because its construction was met, literally block-by-block, by law suits. The Coney Island boardwalk replacement was stymied for years by environmentalists demanding more studies on the impact that might be caused by replacing wood with plastic boards (and probably, the forced relocation of the rats and homeless types living under it). This is amusing because just last week a federal judge tossed out the opponents’ latest suit and this week Hurricane Sandy took matters into her own hands. Ha! But I digress.

It’s practically impossible to build anything new in New York City and certainly nothing in less than a decade, minimum – witness the “freedom Tower” down where the Trade Center once stood. Amazing to think that the Empire State Building took 18 months to assemble the land and complete. Eighteen months! Never again.


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4 responses to “Megan McArdle says, forget about building massive flood gates in NYC

  1. Fred2

    100% right, for 10billion or 100 billion you could install a lot of high impact safety systems in NYC. (and have it done this century)

    Another thing, she fails to mention what happens to the Hudson’s water if you plug the exits? Hint. It’ll rise too.

  2. db

    One might say some review of major undertakings within NYC isn’t always a bad thing. If Robert Moses, had his way, NYC would be interesting to look at today…especially if you were located under some of his planned highways within the city.

  3. Oh, and when Greenwich residents went to the fore-mentioned Coney Island Pier, memorial park at the Freedom Tower site, or Empire State building, they weren’t adding to the traffic, crowds in the subways, pedestrian congestion on the sidewalks or lines at tolls…NY was just lucky to have your business and opportunity to see you!

  4. Earth Image

    NYC has several back door entrances for both tidal and river flooding – and that’s where they dump the combined sewers of both storm and (un)-sanitary water.