NEW YORK, NY —New York City has committed to a major investment and construction of a brand new section of the Greenway, between East 125th and East 132nd streets has begun. This project when completed would close one of the last remaining gaps in the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, a major step towards completing a contiguous 32-mile waterfront pedestrian promenade and bicycle path around Manhattan.As part of the recent rezoning of East Harlem, the City committed $83 million in capital towards the development of a new seven-block-long, seven-acre park, featuring bicycle and pedestrian paths. This commitment will provide new access for East Harlem residents that are currently disconnected from the Manhattan Greenway. The new investment comes on top of $18 million already committed to the project waterfront repair work between E125th and 132nd Streets. When this segment and the recently announced $100 million expansion in East Midtown are complete, there will be a contiguous waterfront esplanade and bikeway extending from East 51st Street to West 145th Street—nearly 100 blocks.
“This investment in the East Harlem Greenway gap means a brand new waterfront park for neighborhood kids and residents, and gets us closer to a decades-long goal of completing the amazing Manhattan Greenway. New York is a city of parks and communities, and our focus is improving both,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“The East River Esplanade is a major public open space asset that offers wonderful views and a chance to relax for New Yorkers up and down the east side of Manhattan,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “As El Barrio/East Harlem neighborhoods have witnessed, however, part of this greenway has been neglected for far too long. That’s why the Council prioritized investing in this important open space as part of the recent East Harlem Rezoning. We are proud to welcome this $101 million capital investment for the construction of a brand new waterfront promenade, in addition to $15 million allocated to repair the existing portion of the East River Esplanade.”
New York City Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with the New York City Parks Department, will begin design, environmental review and permitting for the new Greenway segment in 2018. The Parks Department has already conducted a community engagement process to inform the project’s conceptual design. Construction is expected to begin in 2020 when work is completed on the Harlem River Drive. Construction will take approximately three years, and is expected to be complete in 2023. In addition to the new segment of waterfront parkland, the City has committed another $15 million for long needed repairs to the existing portion of the East River Esplanade between 96th Street and 125th Streets. The city has contributed funding for repair work that is currently underway along this stretch.