NYC PARKS COMPLETES RECONSTRUCTION OF HISTORIC 79th STREET BOAT BASIN A-DOCK
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Popular A-Dock Damaged by Superstorm Sandy Reopens to the Public
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, Manhattan Community Board 7 Chair Elizabeth Caputo, John Herrold, Riverside Park Administrator / President, Riverside Park Conservancy and community members to cut the ribbon on the newly reconstructed 79th Street Boat Basin A-Dock in Riverside Park, Manhattan. A-Dock had been closed for several years due to substructure piling deterioration and Superstorm Sandy incurred damage. The restored 370-foot fixed pier is now re-opened to the public.
“Cutting the ribbon on the 79th Street Boat Basin A-Dock, returning one of New York’s favorite waterfront spaces to public use, is a great Hurricane Sandy recovery milestone,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “Thanks to FEMA and Mayoral funding, A-Dock resumes as a popular destination for everything from active water recreation to ‘floating classroom’ vessels, and water safety events.”
“Manhattan is an island at the mouth of a great harbor, and every time we open a facility that connects New Yorkers with the water it’s a special occasion,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “The planned new kayak launch and renewed visits by historic sailing vessels are both great news, and will provide more opportunities for New Yorkers to reconnect with our heritage as a port city. FEMA has my thanks for funding the reconstruction of this vital public asset.”
“The A-Dock at the 79th Street Boat Basin is an Upper West Side mainstay, and I'm thrilled to be here to celebrate its reopening,” said Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal. “With these improvements, the dock can continue to benefit the entire community. The long-term preservation and accessibility of our waterfront infrastructure is a task that requires constant attention, and today represents the culmination of much hard work.”
Manhattan Community Board 7 Chair Elizabeth Caputo stated: “We at Community Board 7 are so excited about the new dock. We embarked on this mission with neighbors, kayakers, friends of the Park and the Parks Department many years ago and are thrilled at what the dock and the surrounding area will mean for New Yorkers, visitors and all those who want to be a part of an amazing park experience here in Riverside Park.”
"Access to the Hudson River is in many ways the essence of Riverside Park. For 75 years, A-Dock took you beyond the bulkhead to experience being out over the water. Until Sandy knocked it out. Now it's back!" stated John Herrold, Riverside Park administrator, president, Riverside Park Conservancy
Before Sandy, A-Dock was the most heavily-used pier at the marina by boaters and non-boaters. Completed, the pier provides access to a floating kayak launch, which is part of the NYC human-powered boating water trail, as well as to the sailboat mooring field via the floating dinghy docks along the pier’s northern face. The reconstruction of A-Dock and its vertical wave screen also provides protection to the rest of the marina from passing vessel wakes and ice floes during the winter months.
For the A-Dock reconstruction, all wooden pilings were replaced with concrete-filled steel pilings; wooden piling caps and stringers were replaced with concrete and fiberglass respectively. Additionally, a new timber wave screen was installed along the complete northern and eastern stretch. And, new timber decking was installed along with new railings, gates, lights and, power and water pedestals for boats, bike racks and seating.
NYC Parks dedicates the western face of A-Dock to visiting historic tallships including the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and Schooner Mystic Whaler. These and other educational vessels visit the Boat Basin each summer, staying anywhere from several nights to several weeks, to offer hands-on marine education to school groups, as well as general public sails. Additionally, kayaks/canoes/stand-up paddleboards launch from main marina floating docks.
The nearly $6 million 79th Street Boat Basin A-Dock reconstruction was funded by FEMA and Mayor Bill de Blasio; the project came in under budget.
The 79th Street Boat Basin, including the northernmost A-Dock, was constructed in 1937 during the tenure of Robert Moses as Parks Commissioner. It was designed as the “Recreational Boating Gateway to New York City.” The Boat Basin was built as part of the project to cover the tracks of the New York Central Railroad’s West Side Line, which also included a multi-level entry and exit from the Henry Hudson Parkway, all under the name of the 79th Street Grade Crossing Elimination Structure. The Works Project Administration provided funding for the project, which created the Freedom Tunnel, an underground parking garage, a restaurant, and the marina.
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