MASPETH — A city and state proposal to create a new "destination" park at the base of the new Kosciuszko Bridge got the greenlight from Queens Community Board 2, who voted to approve the plan during its monthly meeting Thursday.
The nearly one-acre park is planned as part of the ongoing overhaul of the bridge, the first half of which opened last week. The green space would be located on two parcels of land owned by the state's Department of Transportation along 43rd Street between 55th and 54th avenues.
The park would be 32,000 square feet total and would have a comfort station, sitting areas, access to a shared bicycle and pedestrian path leading over the bridge and could potentially include spaces for skateboarding and other amenities, officials said.
"We're looking at it more as a destination park," Jim Lau of the DOT told members of CB2 during a presentation Thursday. "We want it to be something that people want to go to."
The state would build the park, then turn it over to the city's Parks Department to own and maintain. Officials say they plan to hold scoping meetings in order to solicit ideas from the community about what they'd like the park to include.
The space is expected to open in 2020, to coincide with the completion of the second span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge.
CB2's members voted to recommend in favor the plan, and Chairperson Denise Keehan-Smith says the board has been exploring locations near Newtown Creek that could potentially be used for a new park, but that other sites were not ideal.
These include a DOT-owned lot in Blissville, bound by Van Dam Street and Bradley and Borden avenues, which one resident petitioned last year to turn into a park. But the site, which is next to the Long Island Expressway, was deemed too traffic-heavy, Keehan-Smith said.
Mitch Waxman, a member of the Newtown Creek Alliance, spoke out in favor of the Kosciuszko Bridge park site during CB2's meeting, saying Maspeth is currently starved for park space.
"There’s so little greenery in the area," he said.