Residents to Hash Out QueensWay Design in Series of Workshops

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on October 31, 2013 3:32pm 

 The QueensWay aims to create a 3.5-mile linear park along an old Long Island Rail Road track path, stretching through central and southern Queens.
The QueensWay aims to create a 3.5-mile linear park along an old Long Island Rail Road track path, stretching through central and southern Queens.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

QUEENS — Residents will soon get a chance to weigh in on a plan to transform 3 1/2 miles of abandoned rail line into the borough's version of Manhattan's High Line.

A series of workshops will be organized as part of a study that aims to determine whether building the QueensWay, where the Rockaway Rail Line once ran, is feasible.

The rail line, connecting Forest Hills, Rego Park, Richmond Hill and Ozone Park, closed in 1962 and has since become home to little more than weeds and trash.

“We are in the part of the study where community involvement is really going to help shape the study and hopefully, at one point, the project,” said Andrea Crawford, vice chairwoman of Queens Community Board 9 and a member of the Friends of the QueensWay, an advocacy group supporting the project.

“We’ve been saying all along that the communities are going to be integrally involved in this project,” she added.

During the workshops, participants will be divided into small groups to discuss the project, and their ideas will be used to develop a final design.

The first three out of six planned workshops will take place in November, in Woodhaven, Forest Hills and Ozone Park.

The study will also assess the structural integrity of the tracks, test soil and estimate the cost of construction.

Two companies — WXY architecture + urban design and dlandstudio — were selected in August from among 29 firms to lead the analysis, following a request for proposals issued by the Trust for Public Land in March.

The group received a $467,000 grant for the study from the state’s Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Regional Economic Development Council.

The park would include a pedestrian and bike path and would also feature elements illustrating the borough’s diversity, including art, sculpture and food.

Details about the workshops can be found here.

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