The long-awaited street-end plaza on City Island is almost complete.
The pocket park at the southern tip of City Island Avenue, between two restaurants at Belden Point, is now open to the public, with minor items still left to be finished, a Parks Department spokesman stated.
Work on the green space had been stalled for about a decade, with initial funding being allocated by then Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. and money allocated in Albany.
Ground was finally broken in April 2015, after advocacy from the City Island Civic Association and a long search for a contractor, according to CICA board members.
“The construction is by and large done, and it is an asset to the community,” said John Doyle, CICA board member.
New York State, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and the mayor’s office all contributed funding to the project when it came to fruition.
The new space which cost $420,000 to construct, provides pedestrian access, according to the Parks Department. A chain link fence previously cut off access to the location.
The contract called for the installation of decorative railings and pavement, planting beds and a landscaped area to the end of the street, the spokesman said.
“The functional design at Belden Point will also serve to define a vehicular turn-around with an 18-inch-wide curb with safety posts,” said the spokesman.
Senator Jeff Klein was able to preserve $170,000 in the state budget for the project after it was almost removed during the fiscal crisis following the 2008 stock market and housing market crashes.
In a statement, Klein lauded the completion of the greenspace.
Klein’s office also recently helped to remove graffiti from the area as part of a continual effort to keep it clean, the senator added.
“I am glad that the CICA and the community played a big part in making this happen” said Doyle. “It is a small win, but still a win. If residents are walking their dogs or going on a stroll, there is now a nice end to (City Island Avenue).”
Barbara Dolensek, CICA vice president, said the next order of business is to have the weathered pier pilings in the waters off Long Island Sound, near the pocket park, removed from the water.
The pilings are from a pier that was washed away many years ago, she explained, adding that of it is nice to see the Belden Point park finally come to fruition.
“(The area) is looking way more attractive that it used to,” she said.