Parks Department Unveils New Rocky Ridge & Promenade
City officials and community activists cut the ribbon on the new waterfront promenade and restored seawall at Queensbridge Park in Long Island City last Tuesday, July 8.
Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver participated in the ceremony along with City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Sen. Michael Gianaris, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan, NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) Executive Vice President for Capital Programs Dmitri Konon and members of Community Board 1, the Friends of Queensbridge Park, Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House and GreenShores NYC.
“This project ensures that Long Island City residents are better protected and better able to enjoy full access to their waterfront,” Silver said. “It also reflects the commitment of the de Blasio administration and NYC Parks to building resilient parks that integrate with our shorelines and help reduce the effects of climate change.”
“The completion of the Queensbridge Park Seawall restores access to the waterfront, access that has been denied for far too long. Queensbridge Park is a jewel in Western Queens and restoring the Seawall and rebuilding its esplanade was my top priority when I was elected. I am proud to have secured $3.65 million to help achieve this goal,” added Van Bramer. “The reopening of the seawall after years of closure is a huge win for the people of western Queens and is a promise that I am proud to have delivered on. No longer do Queensbridge Residents need to look at the seawall as it crumbles into the East River. Instead, residents will be able to enjoy a park and waterfront just as lovely as any in New York City.”
“New York City’s 520 miles of shoreline is one of its greatest assets, and we are proud to continue reconnecting New Yorkers to their waterfront,” said Konon. “We are pleased to open the Queensbridge Park Seawall in partnership with NYC Parks, providing new recreational opportunities for the community while strengthening the resiliency of the area.”
This project was managed by NYCEDC and included the reconstruction of the seawall using rip-rap revetment. Rip-rap, made up of large rocks, is used to protect the shoreline by absorbing and deflecting waves while lessening the effects of erosion. The project also created a 6′- wide waterfront promenade with benches and plantings, and a small wharf at its northern end.
The project was funded with $3.65 million from Van Bramer and the City Council, $1 million from the Office of the Queens Borough President, $1 million from the Office of the Mayor, and $1 million from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
This park was named for the nearby Queensboro Bridge, now known as the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge. The City of New York acquired the land that is now Queensbridge Park in two sections in 1939.
The Queensbridge Housing projects gave jurisdiction of the land to the New York City Housing Authority with the Parks Department retaining maintenance responsibilities.