Monday, August 1, 2011

First Section Of New East River Waterfront Esplanade Is Opened

On July 14, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver opened the first section of the new East River Waterfront Esplanade just south of the South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan. The first phase – from Wall Street to Maiden Lane – is part of a larger $165 million project that is revitalizing a once neglected two-mile stretch of City-owned land along the water’s edge from the tip of Lower Manhattan to East River Park north of the Manhattan Bridge.

The new esplanade – open to the public from 6:00 AM to midnight – provides a place for residents, office workers and visitors to Lower Manhattan to enjoy the waterfront. Along the new esplanade are plantings and trees comprised of native coastal species, as well as seating elements evocative of the area’s maritime past. Elevated bar stool seating offers visitors an opportunity to sit next to the railing and look out over the water toward Brooklyn. The railing at the bar also doubles as a tabletop on which users can eat, use a laptop or read. The esplanade also features chaise lounges, game tables, planter walls and waterside benches. The “Look-Out,” a series of stadium-like steps leading to the water at the foot of Wall Street, enables visitors to sit and observe the water with unobstructed views. A new state-of-the-art dog park features a climbing bridge, sand pit, splash pad and dog house. The entire esplanade is unified by a newly installed purple girder underneath the FDR Drive that will be illuminated at night and visible over the esplanade and across the river.

The esplanade stretches to Pier 11 at Wall Street, one of the stops on the City’s new East River Ferry Service launched by Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn in June 2011. The new service will provide year-round ferry transportation between East 34th Street and Pier 11 in Manhattan, Long Island City in Queens, Greenpoint, North Williamsburg, South Williamsburg, and DUMBO in Brooklyn.

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