De Blasio Announces Funding to Fill 8-Block Stretch of East River Greenway Gap

Work on the greenway segment between 53rd Street and 61st Street will start in 2019.

The greenway segment between 53rd and 61st Streets would be built on pylons over the East River. Image: NYC Mayor's Office
The greenway segment between 53rd and 61st Streets would be built on pylons over the East River. Image: NYC Mayor's Office

Construction is set to begin in 2019 to fill in a large chunk of the Midtown gap in the East River Greenway, Mayor de Blasio announced today.

While the Hudson River Greenway provides a trunk line for safe bicycling on the West Side without many traffic lights, the East River waterfront has no high-volume path for convenient bike travel. The East River Greenway is a patchwork of varying widths and quality, with a glaring mile-long gap in Midtown.

The project announced today will complete the Outer Detour Roadway (ODR) segment of the greenway. Image: Council Member Dan Garodnick
The project announced today will complete the Outer Detour Roadway (ODR) segment of the greenway. Image: Council Member Dan Garodnick

De Blasio’s revised Fiscal Year 2018 budget, set to be unveiled tomorrow, will dedicate $100 million in capital construction funds to build a walking and biking path between 61st Street and 53rd Street, narrowing the gap to 12 blocks.

“This is the first of many big investments we’ll make as we bring the full Greenway to reality,” de Blasio said in a statement.

The plan was first announced by the Bloomberg administration in 2013, when EDC proposed building the path over support beams that remain from a temporary roadway used during the 2004 reconstruction of the FDR Drive.

A three-block greenway extension from 38th Street to 41st Street, which repurposed a pier previously used by Con Edison, opened recently, so funding this eight-block segment will leave 12 blocks alongside the United Nations complex still to be completed. No timeline has been announced for the final segment, though EDC said in 2013 that all three projects would be finished by 2024.

In addition to the Midtown gap, there are large incomplete greenway segments along the Harlem River, between 125th Street and 135th Street and between 145th Street and 162nd Street.

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