New York—Joggers are already huffing through the newest section of the 550-acre Hudson River Park that opened on July 23.
The newest 5-acre section of the park is located near Ground Zero and stretches from Laight Street in TriBeCa to Houston Street. The entire park is expected to be 80 percent complete by 2010 and with the new section of the park open, it is half-way to meeting that goal.
"This is a great step forward," said Alan J. Gerson, City Council member for District 1. "I just fixed up my bike and I'm looking forward to doing a river front bicycle ride."
Now, families and sports lovers can enjoy this multi-activity portion of the park, which consists of basketball courts, tennis courts, waterside overlooks, specially commissioned public art, and a garden with a winding path that offer pedestrians a view of almost 30,000 plants.
"While the entire park is truly magnificent, the TriBeCa section is particularly special inasmuch as it was built to help this neighborhood's recovery from the 9-11 World Trade Center Attacks," said Diana Taylor, Chair of the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT).
This segment of the waterfront park was funded by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which contributed $70 million in federal 9-11 funds. Of that, $16.3 million were used to build this part of the park.
"This new section of the park will help further transform the Hudson River Park into a twenty-first century multi-use recreational space for all of lower Manhattan's families and visitors to enjoy," said Avi Schick, Chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.
Ten years ago in 1998, The Hudson River Park Act established the park and its requirements. Building it has been undertaken by HRPT, with areas in TriBeCa at Pier 25 and N. Moore Street, Pier 26 at Hubert Street, and an area south of Battery Park yet to be completed.
"I grew up here, it was awful and there was nothing, and now it’s wonderful," said Gerson.