FORT GREENE — The city's long-awaited plan to fix the deteriorating Willoughby Avenue entrance to Fort Greene Park is moving forward.
The entrance — located at the bottom of a steep hill — lacks proper drainage and catches the majority of rainwater and runoff from the park. The damp has caused cracks in the entranceway steps and visitors are forced to jump over large puddles of water and mud to enter the park.
It's been more than five years since the Parks Department first said they would repair the entrance, according to Community Board 2 District Manager Robert Perris.
"They said they had the funding and were prepared to fix it," he said. "Apparently they were not prepared for anything of the sort."
But the Parks Department says help is now on the way.
"We are moving forward with this project," said a department spokeswoman. "It is currently in the procurement phase, with bids due at the end of March."
The department's fully funded $1.25 million plan calls for a sustainable drainage system with ground covers and shrubs to help reduce runoff.
The project also includes the reconstruction of nearby pathways, part of the historic stone perimeter wall, the granite steps and the ornamental ironwork at the entrance.
Perris is encouraged that the Parks Department has taken steps to select a contractor.
"This is good news," he said. "Albeit long-awaited."