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Proposed $120M Queens High Line to Feature Bike Paths and 'Adventure Park'

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | October 14, 2014 7:19am
 The first renderings of the proposed QueensWay were released earlier this year.
Renderings of the Proposed QueensWay
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QUEENS — A proposal to transform 3.5 miles of abandoned railroad tracks into the Queens version of the High Line would cost $120 million and provide Queens residents with bicycle and pedestrian paths, basketball courts and even an adventure park, according to a feasibility study to be released Tuesday, sources said.

The cost estimate for the QueensWay, which was formulated by consultants for the Trust for Public Land and the Friends of the QueensWay, covers design and construction, according to Marc Matsil, the state's director for the Trust for Public Land.

As a comparison, the cost of building the 1.45-mile High Line was $152 million for the first two sections and $35 million for the third section, which recently opened to the public, according to the city’s Economic Development Corporation.

Matsil said that as part of the study, the organizers reached out to the community. Residents' suggestions have been taken into consideration in creating a conceptual design of the QueensWay, which will be included in the study released on Tuesday.

The proposed park, which runs from Rego Park to Ozone Park, would provide bicycle and pedestrian “linear paths” along the abandoned railway.

According to the Trust for Public Land, more than 320,000 people live in the neighborhoods within a mile of the proposed QueensWay.

The plan would include a number of sports facilities, such as basketball courts and a recreation center in the southern portion of the park.

It would also feature several learning gardens, which could be used by children from local schools, as well as an adventure park in the northern portion of the right of way.

The details of that park were not immediately clear, but some suggested that it would include a zip line and giant slide.

“There will be something for everyone,” Matsil said.

The plan also calls for building green infrastructure that would reduce the risk of floods in the area, and for a buffer zone of shrubbery that would be built to protect the privacy of residents.

Privacy has been one of the chief concerns among residents living near the proposed park.

Now, Matsil said, the QueensWay supporters will focus on raising funds.

So far they have been able to raise approximately $1.5 million, according to Matsil.

The project faces opposition from groups like the Rockaway Transit Coalition and elected officials including Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder, who want to reactivate the train service.

The rail line, owned by various city agencies, opened in 1877, connecting Forest Hills, Rego Park, Richmond Hill and Ozone Park. It was closed in 1962.