Downtown Greenway Segment Closed Since 2007 to Reopen in November

Looking south from Vesey Street. Construction on this section of the Hudson River Greenway, detoured since 2007, is set to reopen in mid-November. Photo: Stephen Miller
This section of the Hudson River Greenway, closed since 2007, is set to reopen in mid-November. Photo: Stephen Miller

An eight-year Hudson River Greenway detour is set to conclude in less than two months, restoring a direct bike route along West Street near the World Trade Center site.

Since 2007, the greenway has been closed near Brookfield Place, the office and retail complex on the west side of West Street formerly known as the World Financial Center. For eight years, cyclists (and on many blocks, pedestrians) have been detoured to the streets and waterfront promenades of Battery Park City.

The area covered by the greenway closure has varied over the years. As of today, the greenway remains closed between Vesey and Thames streets.

The detour was put in place while Brookfield and the Port Authority built an underground passageway connecting the winter garden at Brookfield Place with the World Trade Center PATH station. The detour was originally supposed to end in spring 2010, according to a NYC DOT announcement, but delays ensued: the PATH tunnel didn’t open until 2013. When Downtown Express checked in on the situation last year, state DOT said the detour would end sometime late this year.

It seems that timetable will hold. Work is almost done on rebuilding the separated bicycle and pedestrian paths between Vesey and Albany streets, and construction equipment stored on the greenway between Albany and Thames streets should eventually be cleared out.

Work on the southern end of the closure, seen here looking north from Liberty Street, is almost complete. Photo: Stephen Miller
The southern end of the closure, looking north from Liberty Street. Photo: Stephen Miller

The entire greenway will reopen in mid-November, according to state DOT spokesperson Diane Park. The finished greenway will include an extra-wide curb cut just north of Liberty Street for garage access to Brookfield Place.

“The area near the World Trade Center site is very dense with visitors, workers and residents, so every sidewalk and bike path that is turned back to the community relieves congestion elsewhere,” Community Board 1 chair Catherine McVay Hughes said in a statement.

Hughes added that CB 1 is anticipating the reopening of sidewalks on the east side of West Street between Albany and Liberty, which are closed for construction of the pedestrian bridge between Battery Park City and Liberty Park. The bridge is set for completion in spring 2016, she said.

The greenway closure has long rankled path users, and for good reason: While pedestrians and cyclists on the nation’s busiest greenway had to navigate eight years of detours, car and truck traffic on West Street next to the greenway was never seriously affected.