See plans for Midtown East’s waterfront esplanade (slide show)
See the gorgeous designs unveiled by the city for the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, with floating paths, bike lanes, sound buffers and more
Fri Nov 8 2013
Rendering courtesy NYC Economic Development Corporation
Rendering of the East River Greenway
Much of the undeveloped waterfront in Midtown East could soon be getting an overhaul, should plans presented by the city on Wednesday come to fruition. The East River Esplanade would help complete the borough-surrounding Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, and the proposed area would stretch from 38th Street to 60th Street. Plans include two separate paths for pedestrians and bikers, plenty of seating, sound buffers to dim the roar of the FDR Drive, and planters and trees along the entire five-acre walkway.
The esplanade would be divided into three separate parts, with different scheduled completion dates for each. The southern portion that spans 38th to 41st Streets will be a 45-foot-wide waterside pier with fitness equipment and water access by 2015; the area between 41st and 53rd Streets, planned for 2019, will have an amphitheater; and 53rd to 60th Streets, designed for environmental dedication, should open between 2021 and 2025. Each section will be separated by a major gathering place called a node.
One of the project's most unique features is the way the esplanade appears to be floating, thanks to its separation from the FDR by some 30 feet, as well as the grated materials that will be used in some parts of the walkway. "It should be pretty cool to walk around and see the water under you," says the NYC Economic Development Corporation's Ian Fried. To alleviate concerns about future Sandy-like superstorms, precautions—such as constructing the base of the greenway two feet above the 100-year flood line—have been incorporated, and the space is designed to withstand hits from wind, waves and other inclement weather.
Take a look at the renderings above.
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