Riverside Park

NYC Parks Continues Sandy Recovery And Breaks Ground On Reconstruction Of Historic 79Th Street Boat Basin A-dock

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
No. 48

The popular A-Dock is expected to reopen to the public in early 2016

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP today joined Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer and Congressman Jerrold Nadler to break ground on reconstruction of the A-Dock at the 79th Street Boat Basin in Manhattan’s Riverside Park. Due to substructure piling deterioration and damage incurred from Hurricane Sandy, A-Dock has been closed for several years. The reconstruction will allow Parks to reopen the 370-foot fixed pier to the public.

The reconstruction of A-Dock and its vertical wave screen will also provide protection to the rest of the marina from passing vessel wakes and ice floes during the winter months. Wooden pilings will be replaced with concrete filled steel ones and the entire upper decking will be replaced, along with new railings and pier utilities. This project is estimated to cost $7.8 million with funding provided by FEMA and the Mayor’s Office, and is expected to be completed by early 2016.

“The A-Dock at the 79th Street Boat Basin has been one of New York City’s most treasured outdoor spaces,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “Historically, it has provided visitors with everything from active water recreation to ‘floating classroom’ vessels, and water safety events. As we continue to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy, we are reminded how important places like the A-Dock can be to our community. The new A-Dock will be stronger and more resilient thanks to generous funding from the Mayor’s Office and FEMA. Parks looks forward to reopening it to the public in 2016, and welcoming New Yorkers back to one of their favorite waterfront spaces.”

"The reconstruction of the A-Dock at the 79th Street Boat Basin will allow the reopening of one of the jewels of the Hudson River Waterfront," Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer said. "It's part of what makes our city unique, and it’s an attraction on the West Side that we've missed since Sandy struck. I'm delighted NYC Parks is getting going on this work."

“I'm glad that the A-dock at the 79th Street boat basin will be safer and stronger for the community following this rehabilitation,” said Congressman Jerry Nadler, whose district includes the Upper West Side and Riverside Park. “Fixing the damage caused to our waterfront by Superstorm Sandy is critical for our neighborhoods, industry and economy. This project would not have been possible without federal funding from FEMA and the Mayor’s Office, and I am happy to have been involved in supporting this effort and making sure the Boat Basin will last for years to come for everyone to enjoy.”

Before Sandy, A-Dock was the most heavily-used pier at the marina by both boaters and non-boaters alike. The pier provided access to a floating kayak launch, which is part of the NYC human-powered boating water trial, as well as to the sailboat mooring field via the floating dinghy docks along the pier’s northern face. A-Dock has also hosted the Boat Basin’s popular Marina Open Houses, Meet the Dockmasters, and water safety events and has been the launching point for kayak races and organized swims around Manhattan.

Currently, Parks dedicates the western face of A-Dock to visiting historic tallships including the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and Schooner Mystic Whaler, docked at the marina today. 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.

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.

Directions to Riverside Park

Know Before You Go

West 79th Street Boat Basin

The 79th Street Boat Basin marina is currently closed. No vessel dockage, moorage, anchorage or launch services are available. The marina will be dredged and reconstructed to modern codes and standards. The marina is anticipated to reopen in 2025.

Related inquiries may be sent to boatbasin@parks.nyc.gov

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