NYC invests $118 million to turn abandoned rail line into public park

June 12, 2024

New York City will use $117.7 million to turn an abandoned railway into a linear park. Plans include developing the QueensWay public park, building bridges and creating recreational amenities.

The city’s Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) will repurpose approximately 0.7 miles of the abandoned Rockaway Beach Branch line into a park that will reconnect nearby communities in the borough of Queens. The communities were separated by a dividing railway facility in the late 1800s. The railroad line has been unused since 1962.

NYC Parks will extend 1.3 miles of the greenway into the nearby Forest Park. In addition, the agency will build greenway bridges, recreational amenities and connect the park to existing facilities.

The project is part of the larger QueensWay vision, a community-driven plan to turn the 3.5-mile railroad line into 47 acres of public park space and 7 miles of greenway. The completed QueensWay park will connect seven Queens neighborhoods through a greenway corridor. The corridor will provide alternative, low-emission transportation options to help NYC residents reach critical amenities.

The Forest Park Pass project is the second phase in the city’s plan to transform the rail line into a linear park. In 2022, the project’s first phase received $35 million to turn a vacant Forest Hills corridor into a 5-acre park with 0.7 miles of greenway. The park will provide access to open space, recreational amenities, outdoor education opportunities and safe transportation.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) provided the funds through the Neighborhood Access and Equity (NAE) grant program. The NAE program is designed to improve walkability, safety and affordable transportation access in disenfranchised communities. The Tukwila and South Renton BRT Stations project is one of 132 projects that will receive a portion of the $3.3 billion USDOT awarded for Fiscal Year 2023.

Photo courtesy of Trust for Public Land

Adam Rollins

Adam Rollins brings his expertise as a Researcher and Writer to the Managing Editor role for several of SPI's key publications, including Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the latest addition, Government Market News. With a rich background as a freelance Content Specialist, Adam has honed a passion for learning and information gathering, delving into various industries. His research and writing have spanned a range of topics, from artificial intelligence (AI) technology, conservation, and project outsourcing, to managed IT services and software development.

Holding a bachelor's degree in English from Texas State University, Adam's proficiency in message development is complemented by his robust research skills and seasoned writing experience. These attributes make him an invaluable asset to SPI, ensuring the delivery of insightful and impactful content to the company's clientele.

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