For the past couple years, there have been no major updates on the QueensWay, the High Line-style elevated park and cultural greenway proposed for a 3.5-mile stretch of abandoned railway in central Queens. But today, the Trust for Public Land and Friends of the QueensWay said in a press release that they’ve finished the schematic design for the first half-mile, which could open as soon as 2020. Along with the announcement and details comes a new set of renderings from DLANDstudio Architecture + Landscape Architecture.
The Gowanus Canal isn’t the first place that comes to mind when one thinks about lush waterfront parks, but that’s exactly the vision behind the long-planned Gowanus Canal Sponge Park, an 18,000-square-foot public space that will be built with engineered soil to absorb (hence “sponge”) stormwater that would otherwise pollute the canal, as well as plants to break down toxins and floating wetlands. It was first conceived back in 2008 by the Gowanus Canal Conservancy and Susannah Drake, principal at the landscape architecture firm DLANDstudio (who’s also responsible for the Queensway).
Now, seven years later, DNAinfo reports that state officials announced on Tuesday that construction has officially commenced on the $1.5 million project at the notorious Superfund site. The park will sit on city-owned land at the point where Second Street dead-ends at the canal. Workers are on site, digging out five feet of contaminated soil that will be sent to a special facility that handles toxic materials; during the next 90 days, the metal walkway will be installed; and plants will arrive in the spring.
A new feasibility study, which is set to be released today by the Trust for Public Land, maps out the plan for the QueensWay–the High Line-esque linear park and cultural greenway proposed for a 3.5-mile stretch of abandoned railway in central Queens.
The study points to the likely $120 million price tag and the park’s benefit to the local economy. Through new renderings it also shows access points, exercise stations, food concessions, outdoor nature classrooms, bike paths, and an “adventure park,” among other amenities.