Senator Clinton Highlines Progress on High Line Project; Total of $18 Million Secured in Transportation Bill

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Senator Clinton Highlines Progress on High Line Project; Total of $18 Million Secured in Transportation Bill

Contact: Clinton Press Office
August 4, 2005 202-224-2243

Innovative Public-Private Partnership on the Verge of Transforming High Line

New York, NY – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today joined the leadership of the Friends of the High Line and other partners in highlighting the progress that has been made toward realizing the vision of transforming the former High Line railway into open public space. Senator Clinton has been a leader in Congress in fighting for funding for the innovative project, which will convert the former elevated freight railway into a pedestrian walkway stretching 1.45 miles and spanning 22 blocks across Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, opening to New Yorkers 6.7 acres of public space atop the elevated rail deck. The restored space will boost the area’s appeal as an ideal destination for businesses, entertainment and living, while preserving its historic character.

“I am proud that, along with my colleagues Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Jerry Nadler, we have been able to secure funding for this project, including $18 million in the transportation bill just approved by Congress. The High Line is one of my top priorities, and I am glad that we have fought for and secured funding for the project every year over the past three years,” said Senator Clinton. “I will continue to be a champion of this project because I believe it is an investment that will spur economic development and create an enduring legacy for future generations of New Yorkers.”

“The High Line project started as a grass-roots effort, and it’s a great example of how a small group of people can really make a difference. But it took the visionary support of Senator Clinton to make the High Line dream a reality,” said Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line. “The Senator gave us much-needed political support when we were fighting to preserve the High Line. And now, by working with Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Jerrold Nadler to bring major federal funding to the project, she’s ensuring that the High Line will be transformed as a great new open space for New York City.”

"The High Line is a key piece of the puzzle to what we need to move West Side development ahead and break the culture of inertia that has plagued New York City," said Senator Schumer. "Anyone who lives or works in Midtown West, Chelsea, or the Meatpacking District knows that the one thing this area lacks is open space. This funding will go a long way into converting the High Line into a world class park that is original and different from any other, it will become a true gem of the West Side." “It’s an incredible pleasure to announce the progress we’ve made on the High Line project,” Congressman Nadler said. “Not too long ago the High Line faced demolition, and we saved it because we saw its promise to our communities and our city. Now we’re counting down to groundbreaking, thanks to tireless grassroots advocacy and hard work in Congress. I was delighted to work with Senator Clinton, the High Line’s longtime champion, and Senator Schumer in securing $18 million in the transportation bill.”

The project is a key step in the revitalization of the far West Side where it will serve as an essential cultural and natural link between downtown’s art galleries and shops and midtown’s Javits Center, creating a distinctive new “High Line District.” Senator Clinton also helped secure $15 million in funding for Moynihan Station, the vision of the late Senator Daniel P. Moynihan, to be a new intermodal transportation facility designed to expand and enhance Pennsylvania Station. Like Moynihan Station, the High Line will serve as a living monument that enriches the lives of all New Yorkers. In addition, this unique project will be a model for innovative land use development and environmentally responsible transportation planning, improving air quality by encouraging pedestrian traffic.

The High Line project was recently granted a “Certificate of Interim Trail Use” by the Surface Transportation Board, paving the way for the City to finalize negotiations with the railroad and move toward the start of construction. The preliminary design for the High Line project, which is currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art, was created by the design team of Field Operations (landscape architecture) and Diller Scofidio + Renfro (architecture). The preliminary design can also be viewed at Groundbreaking on the High Line project is planned for late 2005.