A massive barrier to keep ocean storm surges from entering the New York Harbor and impacting the dense metropolitan area is one of six proposals the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is considering.
The concepts were developed after the federal agency began a storm resiliency study following Superstorm Sandy in late 2012.
The five-mile barrier, with a movable gate to allow ship passage, would stretch across the Lower New York Bay from Sandy Hook, New Jersey to Breezy Point, New York.
Other proposals include multiple smaller flood barriers, flood walls, berms, and levees.
The Army Corps says the overarching goals are “to manage future flood risk in ways that support the long-term resilience and sustainability of the coastal ecosystem and surrounding communities and reduce the economic costs and risks associated with flood and storm events.”
Opponents question the cost, potentially exceeding $20 billion, and possible environmental considerations, which the Army Corps acknowledges could include changes to tidal flow, water salinity and quality, sedimentation, impacts to wildlife, and more.
On the East Coast, storm barriers are used in Providence, Rhode Island and Stamford, Connecticut. They’re only closed when a tropical system approaches.