I’ve been patiently waiting for this announcement for the last several years as critical gaps remain on the east side of Manhattan’s section of the path! Once complete, the addition announced late last week will remove one of the last remaining interruptions to the Greenway around Manhattan Island.
New York City is finally continuing with the completion of a 32-mile waterfront pedestrian promenade and bicycling path around the whole of Manhattan. Since its inception in 1993 under Mayor David Dinkins, each new mayor has contributed to sections of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. The last major section of the Greenway to open was a 10-block pile-supported Riverwalk built in Riverside Park on the West Side of Manhattan between West 81st and West 91st streets, completing a contiguous 11-mile Hudson River Greenway from Battery Park to the George Washington Bridge. With more than 7,000 daily cyclists, it is the busiest bike path in the United States.
NYC announced late last week that as a response to a longstanding effort by local elected officials and community advocates to fund and build a continuous esplanade, they would be closing one of the final remaining gaps:
Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced a major investment in closing the largest gap in the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. In his budget to be announced Wednesday, the Mayor will dedicate $100 million in City capital to significantly narrow the Greenway’s largest gap. The New York City Economic Development Corporation will construct a new esplanade in the East River between East 61st Street and East 53rd Street. Design will begin this year and construction will commence in 2019, with completion expected in 2022. The project has received initial approval from the US Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers, and State Department of Environmental Conservation. The structure will be based on plans previously developed in consultation with a board composed of Mayoral representatives and local officials.
“We’re jumpstarting the completion of a Greenway linking the entire Manhattan waterfront. The Hudson River Greenway has vastly improved quality of life on the West Side, and we want families in every corner in the borough to have that same access to bike, walk and play along the water. This is the first of many big investments we’ll make as we bring the full Greenway to reality,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
In addition, the announcement stated that $5M is slated to fund a multi-agency study to be completed this year on the remaining holes. The study will identify solutions necessary to upgrade existing pinch points and complete gaps, as the basis for additional funding in the next update of the City’s capital plan.