De Bla­sio pledges $100 mil­lion for con­struc­tion of the Man­hat­tan Wa­ter­front Green­way along East 53rd and 61st streets.

Metro USA (New York) - - Front Page - AMANDA MIKELBERG @MetroNewYork [email protected]

Mayor Bill de Bla­sio is throw­ing $100 mil­lion into the East River — for use in con­struct­ing a bike­way and walk­way that stretches for eight blocks above wa­ter.

The mayor an­nounced Tues­day, a day ahead of his bud­get pre­sen­ta­tion, that he will ear­mark the money to jump-start con­struc­tion of an es­planade to “close the gap” in the ex­ist­ing Man­hat­tan Wa­ter­front Green­way, be­tween East 53rd and East 61st streets.

The con­struc­tion will bring the city a step closer to a con­tin­u­ous 32mile pedes­trian “loop” around the coast of Man­hat­tan, which has been the pur­suit of all may­ors since David Dink­ins in 1993.

The New York City Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Corp. will be­gin to de­sign the es­planade this year with con­struc­tion slated to com­mence in 2019 and be com­pleted by 2022.

“We’re jump-start­ing the com­ple­tion of a green­way link­ing the en­tire Man­hat­tan wa­ter­front,” de Bla­sio said. “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

“We’re jump-start­ing the com­ple­tion of a Green­way link­ing the en­tire Man­hat­tan wa­ter­front.” Mayor Bill de Bla­sio

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.”

Coun­cil­man Ben Kal­los, who co-chairs the East River Es­planade Task­force, ap­plauded the plan. “I will fi­nally be able to run the full length of my district from Mid­town East to East Har­lem,” he said.

While the es­planade is be­ing hailed by many of­fi­cials, some New York­ers be­lieve that re­sources should not be di­verted from main­te­nance of the ex­ist­ing path­ways and parks along the East River.

“Above 70th, in the UES & Har­lem, the Es­planade is not just un­sightly, but dan­ger­ous. We’ve had enough. When will we see real im­prove­ments?” tweeted Dara Hunt to the Of­fice of the Mayor on Tues­day morn­ing.

An­other $5 mil­lion will go to­ward study­ing the re­main­ing gaps along the green­way, most no­tably be­tween 119th and 154th streets, where “low­traf­fic vol­ume links” take pedes­tri­ans back through the city.



Mayor Bill de Bla­sio wants to jump-start con­struc­tion to close the ma­jor gap in the green­way “loop” around the coast of Man­hat­tan.

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