Construction has begun on the East Midtown Greenway (EMG), a waterfront public space stretching from East 53rd to East 61st streets. The project is part of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway initiative to create accessible waterfront public space and safe bicycle paths along the entire perimeter of Manhattan.
“Today marks another major step forward in returning the waterfront of New York City to New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio at the groundbreaking. “I look forward to the day when families and friends can relax and enjoy the East Midtown Greenway—an oasis in the heart of our city.”
The EMG will address the historic lack of connection to the waterfront for East Midtown communities by creating a continuous 40-foot-wide esplanade over the water parallel to FDR Drive, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to experience water on both sides. The approximately $100 million project, which will create roughly 1.5 acres of waterfront park space, is expected to be completed by 2022. Once open, NYC Parks will maintain the EMG.
As part of the EMG project, renovations and an extension will be carried out to Andrew Haswell Green Park, which borders the greenway to the north, including a new ADA-accessible pedestrian bridge. Additionally, the project will include a widened area near 53rd Street with space for environmental programming and an art installation created by Stacy Levy that was selected through a public procurement process in 2018.
The EMG will be the first major waterfront gap in Manhattan filled since the opening of the Riverwalk in Riverside Park in 2010.
“Stantec is proud to support EDC in fulfilling the City’s goal to provide the public with waterfront access, and pedestrian and bicycle connections to completely encircle Manhattan,” said Olga Gorbunova, principal with Stantec, which has provided landscape architecture and waterfront, civil, structural, and electrical engineering for the project. “This dynamic design serves to link the community with the waterfront, offering improved mobility options for pedestrians and bicyclists while creating an aesthetically pleasing and welcoming destination that supports the need to address sea level rise.”
Skanska is serving as construction manager.