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Protecting Access to Health Care in East Harlem

Flood Wall Resiliency Project – Now Under Construction
Download brochureConstruction is now underway at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan to build a flood protection system to protect the hospital from future storm events. The project will provide greater resiliency to the hospital and prevent disruption of health care services to the East Harlem community.

The flood wall will border the hospital’s perimeter – on East 97th and 99th Streets, between First and Second Avenues. The sophisticated flood protection system will have built-in flood water pumping capacity to prevent potential damage to infrastructure and allow the hospital to recover and resume operations quickly after storm events.

The floodwall project has several features including:

  • A perimeter flood protection system that consists of a series of connected walls and integrated flood gates
  • Improvements to protect loading docks and harden the basement walls
  • Relocation of some hospital services including the emergency management room
  • Improvements to security, lighting, and fire protection.


When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City in 2012, Metropolitan’s campus suffered extensive flood damage. NYC Health + Hospitals and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) worked to quickly restore the damaged areas, including the below ground infrastructure where vital mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems operate.

The Metropolitan Hospital Flood Wall Resiliency Project was initiated by the New York Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and NYC Health + Hospitals to address vulnerabilities on the hospital campus. Budgeted at $120 million, the FEMA-funded project includes the construction of perimeter flood protection. The perimeter flood wall installation varies in heights from 8 feet to 12 feet, and includes new entrance openings with resilient flood gates up to 35 feet in width.

Storm Resiliency and Public Art

The flood resiliency wall will feature vibrant artwork that incorporates color and richness to the design as a visual celebration of the East Harlem community. Local artist Miguel Luciano was selected through an open forum by a committee of representatives from NYC Health + Hospitals, NYCEDC, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and community members.

About the Artist

Miguel Luciano is a multimedia visual artist whose work explores themes of history, popular culture, and social justice through sculpture, painting and socially engaged public art projects. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the Latinx Artist Fellowship (2021). Luciano was an inaugural Artist in Residence in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Civic Practice Partnership Artist Residency Program (2018-2021). He is currently a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts and Yale University School of Art.

Construction Timeline

  • Spring/Summer 2022 – Fuel tank removal, section of flood protection wall on East 97th Street and First Avenue
  • Spring/Summer 2023 – sections of flood protection wall on East 98th Street and First Avenue
  • Fall/Winter 2023 – sections of flood protection wall on East 97th Street and Second Avenue
  • Spring/Summer 2024 – construction of flood protection system on East 98th Street and Second Avenue


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