The final leg of the High Line project is under way and city officials say once completed, it will be the next step in an ongoing effort to develop and enhance the West Side.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and others broke ground at the third and final section of the elevated park at 30th Street and 10th Avenue Thursday. The construction, scheduled to be completed in 2014, will increase the park's length to 1.45 miles.
"The rail yard's section will extend and expand on the High Line's distinct design," the mayor said.
A group of preservationists called the Friends of the High Line came up with the idea of transforming the abandoned railroad along the West Side into a park in 1999.
After years of working with the city, and gaining support and donations from celebrities like Ed Norton and Diane von Furstenberg, the first part of the High Line, from Gansevoort Street to West 20th Street in Chelsea, opened in 2009.
The mayor said since the park's debut, 10 million visitors from all over the world have walked its path. The third portion will move west toward 12th Avenue and curve around the Hudson rail yards on 34th Street.
Bloomberg said the High Line would show tourists and New Yorkers alike a 21st century Manhattan.