Removing Ice from the High Line

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Author: 
Auzelle Epeneter
Ice on the High LinePathways in the Chelsea Grasslands, covered in a sheet of thick ice. Photo by Friends of the High Line
 
EnlargeRemoving snow and ice from the High Line

This week's freezing rain storms have blanketed the High Line's pathways with a thick sheet of ice, requiring us to close the High Line in the interest of visitor safety.

The elevated character of the park and the below-freezing temperatures make it challenging to prevent and then remove ice as it quickly forms on the park, 30-feet above street level. To protect the High Line's densely-planted landscape, we must avoid the use of rock salt and chemical ice-melt products which have a toxic effect on plants. Instead, we rely on manual methods of snow and ice removal, using shovels and ice picks with assistance from the winter sun and rising temperatures. We create a safe walking path by removing snow with a power broom wherever possible, and hand-shoveling when necessary. We do apply an eco-friendly ice-melt product at all High Line entries and access points.

Today, our Maintenance & Operations crew has been working as quickly as possible to prepare the park for visitors. As you can see, it's a big job! Now that the entire High Line is open, we encourage visitors to wear boots for their visit, and enjoy the beautiful winter landscape that has taken shape on the Line!