Manhattan Waterfront Greenway Expanding Along Harlem River

Manhattan Waterfront Greenway construction along the Harlem River

It looks like crews are working to fill in one of the last big gaps of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway – the segment between roughly East 124th Street and East 133rd Street. Most of this segment has been a staging area for DOT contractors rebuilding the Third Avenue Bridge and replacing the Willis Avenue Bridge. But many of the construction trailers have been removed, and contractors are building a stairway and ramp connecting the Willis Avenue Bridge to the future greenway, which is really cool in and of itself.

Here is what the Department of City Planning reported back in its 2004 survey of the entire greenway:

[T]he New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) is using the Harlem River shore as a staging ground for its bridge reconstruction. Over the next decade DOT will repair and reconstruct the Third Avenue, Madison Avenue, and Willis Avenue bridges. Until this work is finished the shoreline is closed to the public. After the DOT bridge reconstruction is complete, both DSNY and DOT have agreed to cede their land to the Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR), which will then turn it into a waterfront park, complete with greenway.

That appears to be happening now! This will be right on my commute route if it connects to the Madison Avenue Bridge. And if this gap is filled in completely, one will be able to bike along the waterfront from 60th Street and York Avenue to 142nd Street and Fifth Avenue with no traffic lights. (The only obstacle would be a stairway at 81st Street.)

Here is my map of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway as it is today. The last unfinished segments are in red, and the arrow points to the segment in question.

Map of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway

Map of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway

Speaking of the Willis Avenue Bridge, the Bronx approach for bikes has been greatly improved over the former bridge. There’s now a wide dedicated bike/ped path extending over the Major Deegan Expressway all the way to the southwest corner of 135th Street and Willis Avenue, where it connects to the Willis Avenue bike lanes. The bridge also has a bike ramp and stairway that connect to Bruckner Boulevard. The DOT has done a great job designing the bike and pedestrian connections on both ends of this bridge. I’ll have photos and details in an upcoming post!

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