By Gabriela Resto-Montero
UPPER EAST SIDE — It's been eight years in the works but Community Board 8 got one step closer to finishing the Andrew Haswell Green Park when it approved the final phase of the project last week.
The board first submitted a plan to overhaul the East River waterfront between E. 59th and E. 63rd Streets along the FDR Drive in 2002. But the process dragged on until last Wednesday, when the full board voted to approve the final design.
The next step in the process is to open up for bidding rights to build the pavillion at the 1.29-acre site at the East River waterfront, which is set to include a seating area and landscaping.
Construction is schedule to begin in 2011, said Judy Schneider, co-chair of the Community Board 8 Parks Committee.
The $4.5 million project is expected to be finished in 2012, according to OurtownNY.
A new dog run already opened on the strip as part of the project's first phase.
"Saturday mornings when it's beautiful, it's the most fun place," said Katie Gray, who brings her dog, Pip, a Wheaten Terrier, to the dog run. "There are so many people here."
The park bears the name of a long-unrecognized New York City planner, Andrew Haswell Green.
Green was responsible for the planning and creation of Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History and the New York Public Library, according to the Parks Department.