New Sports Fields And Picnic Peninsula Open At Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 5
to the Surrounding Community and Public Transportation
On December 13, Mayor Bloomberg opened Pier 5 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, a $26 million, five-acre former shipping pier that is now home to three multi-purpose sports fields and an adjacent picnic peninsula. The configuration of the fields is adaptable, serving a variety of sports throughout the seasons – two of the fields can be combined to create a regulation soccer field for collegiate competition, or one field may be divided to accommodate youth soccer matches, and the fields will accommodate lacrosse, rugby, cricket, flag football and ultimate Frisbee. In addition, Squibb Park Bridge, a 244-foot bridge that connects the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood to the park, is slated to soon be completed.
The Mayor was joined at the ceremony by Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy Executive Director Nancy Webster, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Member Joan Millman, Council Member Steve Levin, New York City Parks Commissioner Veronica White, New York Red Bulls General Manager Jérôme de Bontin, Goalkeeper Ryan Meara and Forward Kenny Cooper, St. Francis College President Brendan J. Dugan, and student athletes from St. Francis College.
BBP will begin permitting the fields for league play in spring 2013 during open park hours, and will provide open play for the general public and free play for public schools. Because BBP’s electrical equipment sustained significant flood damaged during Hurricane Sandy, there will be no evening play until the electrical equipment that provides power to the pier lights is replaced.
Pier 5’s synthetic turf fields are supported by shock pad and an organic infill made of sand and coconut fibers. In addition to padding the playing area, this infill will help decrease surface temperature, creating a cooler experience for teams and spectators. Shade sails line the northern and southern sides of the pier to provide shade, and there will be ample lighting for night play, with 30 light poles around the perimeter of the fields. A 30-foot promenade surrounding the fields will offer a unique opportunity for visitors to get out on the water and take in the magnificent views of lower Manhattan and the New York Harbor. There will also be an area for fishing equipped with bait preparation tables. Benches and bleachers will provide friends and family members with the best seats in the house.
Adjacent to Pier 5 will be the Picnic Peninsula, an area that includes picnic tables constructed out of salvaged long leaf yellow pine, umbrellas for shade, a barbeque area with grills that will accommodate more than two dozen grillers at a time, a concession area, tetherball, and two play areas for children. The parkwide greenway will connect through the Picnic Peninsula. Both Pier 5 and the Picnic Peninsula were designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.
At the opposite end of the park at Pier 1, visitors will soon have another way to access the park. The Squibb Park Bridge will provide a vital circulation link for pedestrians near the center of the park. The bridge’s proximity to the surrounding community and to public transportation will offer park visitors from around the city a convenient and dramatic approach to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Designed by HNTB Corporation, the $5.9 million bridge is slated to open before the end of the year.
The bridge will be composed of black locust timber, a sustainable, naturally rot resistant material, with galvanized steel connections, mesh panels and lit handrails. The design echoes the material context of the existing industrial waterfront as well as the material palette featured throughout the park.
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