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High Line to Open Third Section to Public Before Construction Begins

By Mathew Katz | September 12, 2012 11:16am

CHELSEA — It could be your last chance to see the High Line in its "natural" state.

Friends of the High Line will open the currently-undeveloped third section of the elevated park to a select group of visitors for self-guided tours at the start of next month.

Over two weekends, Oct. 6, 7, 12, and 13, the public will get a glimpse of the section of the tracks that loop around the West Side Rail Yards. The tours will run from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. on each day.

The half-mile section of track, still overgrown will plants, weeds, and wildflowers, runs roughly from West 30th to West 34th Streets and from 10th to 12th avenues.

The upcoming tours could be the public's last chance to see the undisturbed High Line before work begins.

The park has given the public sneak previews of its new sections as part of Open House New York since 2009, but this year it's doubling its Rail Yards Weekends thanks to support from Japanese clothing giant UNIQLO, which has supported the maintenance and operations of the park for two years. Each visitor will get a UNIQLO shirt at the end of the tour.

Reservations are open to anyone who is 18 or older. For the first weekend, tickets are $5 and will be available at Open House New York's website on the morning of Sept. 27. The second weekend is free, though a reservation is needed and can be made through the High Line's website starting at 12 p.m. on Sept. 27.

In previous years, spots filled up quickly, so be sure to sign up as soon as you can.

Work on the High Line's third and final section was originally set to start in July, but has been delayed. According to Friends of the High Line, construction could now begin as early as this fall.

Preliminary designs for the new $90 million section show a cafe in a train car, a beam-and-girder playground and a large, plant-filled section east of 11th Avenue.