Overbuild in Riverside Park to get a $348 million facelift, says de Blasio

A man and woman walk up the stairs to St. Clair Place in Riverside Park. (Jan. 6, 2014)

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an intended $348 million repair of scenic Overbuild Bridges situated over the old Amtrak rails in Riverside Park, between West 72nd and 123rd Streets, that dates back to the 1930s.

“Riverside Park is a New York City gem and I’m proud this investment will keep the park going strong for generations to come,” said de Blasio in a statement.

Riverside Park is widely regarded as Manhattan’s most spectacular park along the Hudson River. The city has marked the deterioration of the infrastructure of its bridges and pathways over the years and said it has affected the park’s “usability” and overall “appearance.” 

“The City is committing well over half a billion dollars to restoring Riverside Park’s structural core, the largest investment in the park since the 1930s,” said President of Riverside Park Conservancy Dan Garodnick. “This enormous investment in the park’s fundamental infrastructure will ensure it is there for New Yorkers to enjoy for generations to come.”

De Blasio is also investing an additional $300 million to rehabilitate Riverside Park’s other structures, such as the West 79th Street rotunda, boat basin, and the park’s general drainage systems.

Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Hank Gutman weighed in that the state highway and major Amtrak lines bisecting the park will make it difficult to rehabilitate the bridge and requires “creative planning and long-term investment.” 

“For tens of thousands of New Yorkers, Riverside Park is nothing short of a sanctuary. It’s a place of community where children learn to toss a baseball, neighbors catch up among the lush greenery, and families can spend a sunny afternoon together,” said US Rep Jerrold Nadler. “Unfortunately, over recent years, the park has fallen into a state of disrepair.” 

Nadler said that he’s been fighting to direct funds towards Riverside Park for his constituents and tourists alike. “These funds will allow for the rehabilitation of one of our city’s landmark public spaces and I join many others in celebrating this fantastic news—New Yorkers deserve a thriving, flourishing Riverside Park,” said Nadler.

The full project details and timeline will be determined during the design process, said the city.