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City forges ahead on Harlem River Park project.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and parks and recreation commissioner Adrian Benepe broke ground on the $8.7 million phase II renovation of the Harlem River Park Greenway and Esplanade.

This project, expected to be completed in August 2008, will open a new portion of the waterfront to the public, and extend the existing greenway and esplanade north from 139th Street to 142nd Street. phase I, completed in 2003, opened a section of waterfront and established a greenway and esplanade from 135th Street to 139th Street.

When this section is completed, New Yorkers will be able to travel on the waterfront from 60th Street to 142nd Street, with a ten-block detour that uses existing bike lanes to avoid a section of waterfront that is being used for necessary bridge repairs. Bloomberg has allocated $5 million for the project, while $2 million was allocated through federal Transportation Equity Act (TEA) grants and $1.7 million was provided by State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) grants secured by Assembly Member Keith Wright. At the announcement the Mayor and Commissioner Benepe were joined by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, State Senator Bill Perkins, and State Assembly Member Wright.

"Reclaiming our city's waterfront is one of our Administration's central strategies for creating the open spaces and recreational opportunities that improve the quality of life in every neighborhood," said Mayor Bloomberg.

"I played in the Harlem River when I was growing up, so I am particularly happy that the section of the park that the folks of Harlem can enjoy is being expanded," said Assembly Member Keith Wright. "We have made much progress since I first secured funding for this project, and I look forward to the day we cut the ribbon on this section of the park."

The Harlem River Park Greenway and Esplanade is designed to create a safe and inviting transportation alternative for bicyclists, walkers and joggers. The design highlights the site's connection to the Harlem River, while minimizing the noise pollution of the adjacent Harlem River Drive through strategic plantings and other barriers. It will include new pavers, walls and curbs, game tables, fences, lighting, water supply and plantings. This section of the greenway is anticipated to be completed in August of 2008.

The Harlem River Park Greenway and Esplanade, located along the Harlem River between 125th Street and 145th Street, is comprised of 20 acres bounded to the south by the Tri-borough Bridge and to the north by the 145th Street Bridge.

Phase I, which created a waterfront promenade with lawns and a spray shower, was completed in 2002 at a cost of $3.3 million. Future phases will address the ten blocks between 125th and 135th Streets and the three block stretch from 142nd to 145th Streets.
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Comment:City forges ahead on Harlem River Park project.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Aug 29, 2007
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