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Try Pole Vaulting at Soundview Park's New $6M Track

By Eddie Small | August 6, 2014 9:26am
 Runners celebrated the opening of the new track and field at Soundview Park on Tuesday.
Runners celebrated the opening of the new track and field at Soundview Park on Tuesday.
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Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

SOUNDVIEW — Runners in The Bronx just got a $6 million leg up on the competition.

The city unveiled a new track and field area at Soundview Park on Tuesday that includes a 400-meter rubberized running track and areas for pole vaulting, the high jump, long jump and triple jump.

The project by Morrison and Lafayette avenues includes lighting, a synthetic turf soccer field, a misting station where runners can cool off and bleacher seating.

It was not clear what equipment would be included in the pole vaulting area.

The renovations are part of a larger project that includes a rebuilt playground and an amphitheater.

The new track replaced one that was made out of dirt, according to Friends of Soundview Park President Lucy Aponte.

"It didn’t have the foundation that it has now. It was just the dirt — dirt and pebbles," she said. "When you’re running on that, you kind of kick up the dirt. It’s not so nice, but now it’s great.

"Maybe we'll have some Olympic games there."

The landscape architecture company Thomas Balsley Associates designed the track and field, which was funded through New York's PlaNYC initiative, an effort to address long-term challenges in the city such as climate change, aging infrastructure and the possibility of 9.1 million residents by 2030.

More renovations are scheduled for Soundview Park, including a reconstruction of the playground, a new restroom at Metcalf Avenue and an amphitheater with a performance lawn at Roseland Avenue along a new pathway and park entrance.

The playground, bathroom, performance lawn and greenway are all under construction, according to Parks and Recreation spokesman Phil Abramson.

The department expects the greenway to open this fall, the playground to open at the end of the year and the bathroom and performance lawn to open in the spring.

"There’s a lot of construction going on, but it’s coming along," Aponte said. "It’s looking beautiful."