Slowly but surely, Manhattan’s waterfront is transforming into a contiguous, verdant stretch of bike and pedestrian paths, parks and greenery. The entire 32-mile stretch, dubbed the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, currently has a pretty significant gap on the East Side between 41st and 62nd Streets. Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city would take a major step towards closing that gap by constructing an esplanade adjacent the East River between 53rd and 61st Streets, and earlier this week, architectural and design firm wHY Grounds released its proposed design for the stretch.
The $70 million proposal consists of a 1.1-mile-long undulating path and a 1.72-public space situated over FDR Drive. One lane of the path would be designated for plants and pedestrians, while the other would be for cyclists and runners. The hilly concept would effectively turn a bicycle trip along the East River between Sutton Place and the Queensboro Bridge into a sort of roller coaster ride. The design from wHY Grounds “references the playfulness of Japanese Zig-Zag Bridges as pathways that shape multiple experiences and points to view the surrounding urban landscape,” the company said in a press release. The extensions provide seating areas that are ‘rooms’ along the linear path—places to rest and experience the city while also enjoying the view.
This design is not by any means finalized—it’s still subject to approval from the city, and needs to beat out any other innovative design shops that bring proposals to the table.
Check out renderings of wHY Grounds’s proposal below.