A major transformation is coming to the Bronx River Greenway.
On Thursday, October 6, NYC Parks commissioner Mitchell Silver; local elected officials and representatives from Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, Amtrak, NYC Department of Design and Construction and Bronx River Alliance gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony at Starlight Park.
The event announced the start of an approximately $40 million multi-phase project restoring the Bronx River’s shoreline, extending Starlight Park and closing a major 2/3-mile gap in the 23-mile Bronx River Greenway.
The Bronx River Greenway is a continuous multi-use path extending along the river in the Bronx and Westchester County.
The project’s first stage will naturalize the shorelines, restore wetlands and reduce Bronx communities’ vulnerability to future coastal storms.
The second stage of work will construct a link between Starlight Park and Concrete Plant Parks using trails and pedestrian bridges.
One link will cross Amtrak lines at E. 172nd Street while another will cross the Bronx River extending Starlight Park south toward Westchester Avenue. The project will complete a missing link in the greenway providing thousands of Bronxites access Starlight Park and Bronx River House and the improved waterway.
This connection will incorporate restored parcels completed in the first stage.
“The Bronx River Greenway provides the unique opportunity to walk, jog, run or ride a bike along the only freshwater river in NYC,” said NYC Parks commissioner Silver.
NYC DDC commissioner Feniosky Pena-Mora said the park’s new pedestrian bridges and entry points will unite neighbors who were previously separated by highways and train tracks.
NYC DDC will manage the project on behalf of NYC Parks and RBA Group will serve as design consultant.
Mayor de Blasio allocated $12 million for the project’s first stage and an additional $4.4 million was awarded by the Hurricane Sandy Coastal Resiliency Competitive Grant Program.
The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $10 million for the project’s second stage via its Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Discretionary Grant Program while the NYS DOT provided an additional $8.67 million through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program.
Congressman Jose Serrano; Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. allocated funding through the Dormitory Authority State of New York Program for the project.
“The Bronx River Greenway is one of the jewels of our borough and I have supported its continued revitalization at every turn going back to my days as a member of the NYS Assembly through today,” expressed Diaz, adding. “These new upgrades will provide critical new recreation amenities for south Bronx residents.”
“After years of advocacy between community partners, government leaders and elected officials, the groundbreaking for phase two of Starlight Park brings us closer to our goal for continuous access to some of the borough’s best recreation and transportation resources along the Bronx River,” shared Veronica Vanterpool, Bronx River Alliance chairwoman.
Construction is anticipated to begin in February 2017.