Hurricane Sandy’s strong storm surge caused extensive damage to the promenade around Liberty Island, lifting a significant proportion of the brick and granite pavers that surface the promenade; moreover, the pavers were lifted individually, which made repairs more difficult. This was one of the park’s highest-priority projects as the damage prevented visitors from visiting the island.
To mitigate future damage, the park installed interlocking brick pavers and secured granite pavers in such a way that if a future storm surge were to overtake the promenade, they would not be individually dislodged. The new bricks were also full thickness, as compared with the previous bricks which were partial thickness. This will help maintenance crews repair the promenade after a future event and facilitate a quicker return of visitors to the island. All of the materials and equipment required to install the new pavers needed to be shipped over by barge. Because of the unique situation created by Hurricane Sandy, the asphalt under the old pavers had to be stripped and new asphalt had to be put down. Once that process was completed, the new pavers were attached with an asphalt adhesive. In all, 53,000 square feet (1.2 acres) of the Liberty Island promenade were replaced, providing 2,000 linear feet of public access.
The pavers require the same maintenance as the previous brick and granite materials used, including being swept three times a week and winter maintenance (snow plowing and sand as needed to ensure continued use and visitor safety)..