Esplanade Extension Might Look Ready, But Don't Expect A Walk Soon

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — To the untrained eye, the new East Midtown Greenway, an expansion of the East River Esplanade alongside the Upper East Side and Sutton Place, seems like it could be ready for summer fun.

But all that seems is not so.

Despite the extensive landscaping and near completion of a totally new pedestrian footbridge in Sutton Place near Clara Coffey Park at East 54th Street, the project won’t be ready for bikes, strolls and sitting until the best time of year for waterfront fun: December 2023.

Find out what's happening in Upper East Sidewith free, real-time updates from Patch.

As recently as a year ago, the New York City Economic Development Corporation claimed a Fall 2023 completion date.

Yvi McEvilly, an NYC EDC vice president, told Community Board 8 as recently as March 2022 that the final stage of the project, the section around Andrew Haswell Green Park, would be completed right on cue with the rest of the esplanade.

Find out what's happening in Upper East Sidewith free, real-time updates from Patch.

But according to the two most recent EDC presentations to Community Boards 6 and 8, this past October and Febuary, that while the rest of the greenway esplanade might be completed, continued work at Andrew Haswell Green Park and the Alice Aycock Pavilion will prevent them from opening the much anticipated — and needed — green space.

“We won’t be able to open just this part of the part because then it will create dead end public space, which could cause safety concerns,” said NYC EDC project director Ankita Nalavade at the February Community Board 6 meeting. “This is one of the reason why the completion of the entire project will be extend until December 2023.”

When asked for any additional details or updates about the construction, NYC EDC only told Patch that the work would be completed by the end of the year.

While neighbors find the new completion date “a little disappointing,” as one CB6 board member put it, residents are still thrilled to have another way to engage with the neighborhood’s waterfront.

Jennifer Ratner, founder of the group Friends of the East River Esplanade, called the project “a great leap forward” when it comes to creating a greenway around Manhattan.

“We are very excited about the opening of the East Midtown Greenway. We can’t wait to have even more mileage on a contiguous waterfront for runners, walkers, bikers, and people just strolling with kids and their families,” she said.

Click Here: Papua New Guinea Rugby Shop

Work on the much anticipated project began in 2019, and again in September 2020 after a pandemic pause.

Even when the current construction finishes, more work will be on the way — once the project can find about $38 million.

That’s how much it’s gonna cost to enact any of the ideas Community Board 8 had for the space under Andrew Haswell Green Park, a former heliport and Sanitation waste transfer station, according to Michael Bradley, a Parks Department project administrator.

Those ideas pitched in 2018 included a bathroom or a cafe as well as a new ADA compliant ramp.

While the concrete curtain walls are mostly demolished at the structure, until the funds are secured, half of the space will be fenced off and will act as temporary Parks Department maintenance space.

The next stage of the East River Greenway — the United Nations headquarters gap — is currently in the design stage and should be ready for strolls, bikes and sits in about four years, according to NYC EDC.

Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.

0 thoughts on “Esplanade Extension Might Look Ready, But Don't Expect A Walk Soon”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *