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Part Of Seawall Near Gracie Mansion Collapses Into River

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A peaceful promenade is now a danger zone thanks to the unrelenting rain we had last week.

Part of a seawall near Gracie Mansion collapsed into the East River over the weekend. Concrete crumbled and fell, taking down a railing in the process.

It's a scary and disturbing sight for many in Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side -- a 50 foot section of seawall came crumbling down into the river Friday afternoon beside Gracie Mansion following the day's rain.

"God forbid we're very lucky that someone didn't get killed here," Upper East Side resident Allison Poster Katz told CBS2's Scott Rapoport.

Protective barriers now line the walkway along the waterfront promenade -- a favorite of runners and park goers.

Some were surprised the seawall, which survived Hurricane Sandy, could be compromised by Friday's rain.

"Well maybe that in addition to this was too much," UES resident Marcia Meyers said.

Not everyone was surprised by what happened.

"You can walk along here and you can see pockets," Geoffrey Croft from NYC Park Advocates tells CBS2. "It's literally crumbling into the East River."

Croft says this area along the waterfront has been a problem for decades and says there's plenty of blame to go around.

"The elected officials refuse to allocate the proper resources to fix this," he said.

New York City Parks Department Chief Architect Kevin Quinn says not so fast.

"It's funded," he tells CBS2. "We're gonna repair it. So it's not being neglected."

The parks department tells CBS2 the agency is working immediately to address the safety issues along the promenade, adding they will be expediting the construction to address the problem -- part of its existing $15 billion East River Esplanade project.

But critics maintain much more is needed to fix all the problems along the water and prevent something like this from happening again.

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