Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, and DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman today announced a $348 million investment that will rehabilitate the Overbuild in Riverside Park in Harlem, NY.
The rebuild is bringing the 1930s-era infrastructure into a state of good repair.
“A recovery for all of us means investing in our green spaces,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Riverside Park is a New York City gem and I’m proud this investment will keep the park going strong for generations to come.”
“New York City parks are critical infrastructure and their upkeep is essential for the well-being of our residents,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Laura Anglin. “NYC Parks and the Department of Transportation have come up with a great plan to ensure Riverside Park remains in good shape for future generations to enjoy.”
“New Yorkers benefit physically, mentally, and socially when our parks are accessible and well-maintained. In particular, the past year has affirmed that our parks—with their healing nature—are integral to our city’s ecosystem,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “With the Mayor’s investment, Riverside Park can continue to be a sanctuary for future generations of New Yorkers to enjoy.”
“Parks are essential infrastructure. This is a major investment that will bring much-needed structural repairs to one of our most visited parks,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “This funding from Mayor de Blasio builds on a significant investment in rehabilitating Riverside Park’s infrastructure, and this multifaceted project will be critical in helping us care for the historic waterfront park for decades to come.”
“Riverside Park is an iconic New York City landmark, and we are proud to be a part of this major announcement by NYC Parks,” said DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman. “However, with a state highway and major Amtrak lines both bisecting it, Riverside Park faces transportation and engineering challenges that must be met by both creative planning and long-term investment. The funding will bring major infrastructure upgrades that will make this historic park safer and more enjoyable for both pedestrians and cyclists.”
“The City is committing well over half a billion dollars to restoring Riverside Park’s structural core, the largest investment in the park since the 1930s,” said Dan Garodnick, President of Riverside Park Conservancy. “This enormous investment in the park’s fundamental infrastructure will ensure it is there for New Yorkers to enjoy for generations to come.”
The Overbuild is a series of bridge structures underneath Riverside Park, built over the Amtrak lines from W. 72nd to W. 123rd streets. Its deterioration has affected the park’s usability, causing damaged pathways and an appearance of disrepair in the park. NYC Parks and DOT have developed a multi-faceted approach to addressing the structural condition, which includes additional inspections and temporary stabilization work.
The full project details and timeline will be determined during the design process.
The funding is in addition to more than $300 million previously invested under this administration to rehabilitate Riverside Park’s infrastructure – including $200 million to reconstruct the W. 79th Street Rotunda complex, $90 million to reconstruct the W. 79th Street Boat Basin, and more than $10 million to reconstruct pathways and staircases within the park. Mayor de Blasio has also funded an $11.5 million project to begin addressing the park’s drainage systems.
One of only eight officially designated scenic landmarks in New York City, Riverside Park is widely regarded as Manhattan’s most spectacular waterfront park. Stretching along the Hudson River, the park offers a variety of recreational activities including multiple playgrounds, sports courts, and fields, a skate park, and a 110-slip public marina. Riverside Park is also home to many monuments including General Franz Sigel, Joan of Arc, Lajos Kossuth, and Soldiers’ and Sailors’ monuments.
“For tens of thousands of New Yorkers, Riverside Park is nothing short of a sanctuary. It’s a place of community where children learn to toss a baseball, neighbors catch up among the lush greenery, and families can spend a sunny afternoon together. Unfortunately, over recent years, the park has fallen into a state of disrepair. A deteriorating park makes for a less usable park, which is why I have been fighting to direct funds towards Riverside Park so that New Yorkers can once again enjoy the full breadth of this pristine greenspace along the Hudson River,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “That’s why I’m thrilled that New York City has announced a sweeping $348 million investment in repairing, maintaining, and improving the Riverside Park overbuild. These funds will allow for the rehabilitation of one of our city’s landmark public spaces and I join many others in celebrating this fantastic news—New Yorkers deserve a thriving, flourishing Riverside Park.”
“This needed repair will ensure the long-term usability of this glorious park,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer.
“We welcome the great news of more funding to continue to restore Riverside Park, one of Manhattan’s most spectacular waterfront parks and one that I’m proud to represent in the State Senate. With this decision, the city continues to invest in waterfront access and leisure infrastructure, both so critical to our collective recovery from COVID-19. I look forward to seeing more of this type of investment in more of our NYC parks as the city reopens, allowing all New Yorkers to enjoy our beautiful open spaces,”
“We welcome the great news of more funding to continue to restore Riverside Park, one of Manhattan’s most spectacular waterfront parks and one that I’m proud to represent in the State Senate. With this decision, the city continues to invest in waterfront access and leisure infrastructure, both so critical to our collective recovery from COVID-19. I look forward to seeing more of this type of investment in more of our NYC parks as the city reopens, allowing all New Yorkers to enjoy our beautiful open spaces,” said Senator Robert Jackson.
“Riverside Park is a jewel of New York City and a treasured neighborhood resource for my district. This pandemic has shown us that City parks are critical infrastructure that strengthens the economic and physical health of our residents. With modernized drainage and guard-rail infrastructure, Riverside Park will become safer, more accessible and more widely used. I thank the City and Commissioners Silver and Gutman for giving our park the funding it needs to better serve all residents of our district,” said Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell.
Council Member Peter Koo, Chair of the Committee on Parks and Recreation, said, “This investment in the Overbuild at Riverside Park will ensure this scenic landmark is enjoyed for generations to come. Many thanks to Mayor de Blasio, the Parks Department, and the Department of Transportation for collaborating on rehabilitation that prioritizes this park’s critical infrastructure.”
“Our city’s green spaces, like Riverside Park, have proven to be cornerstones of inclusion and equity for all New Yorkers who rely on these parks for their physical and mental well-being. Now more than ever, we need to make equitable investments in our park system so that they can truly serve all communities.”
“The pandemic has spurred a renaissance in the use and utility of our public spaces in New York City,” said Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the Health Committee and former Chair of the City Council Parks Committee. “Our city’s green spaces, like Riverside Park, have proven to be cornerstones of inclusion and equity for all New Yorkers who rely on these parks for their physical and mental well-being. Now more than ever, we need to make equitable investments in our park system so that they can truly serve all communities.”