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Jets toss lifeline to the High Line



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The Jets plan to tear down a piece of the High Line elevated railway and then rebuild a portion as an entrance to a new West Side stadium, the Daily News has learned.

The Jets also propose to link the abandoned 1.45-mile line to a new park created above the West Side Highway.

The team plans to dismantle about a quarter-mile of the line and rebuild half that section to connect to the proposed 75,000-seat football stadium.

The High Line, built in the 1930s to remove dangerous trains from Manhattan's streets, spans 22 blocks from 34th St. to Gansevoort St. No trains have run on it since 1980.

Below the line on 30th St. between 11th and 12th Aves., the Jets are proposing a new street market that would feature art, antiques, crafts and furniture.

The Jets' plans for the High Line will be formally unveiled today at a day-long Regional Plan Association forum on the far West Side.

In March, Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Pataki announced a $2.8 billion plan to build a stadium for the football team and expand the Javits Convention Center, including $1.3 billion in public funding.

Last year, city officials announced an ambitious plan to transform the rail line into an elevated park. Jets executives said their proposal complements that plan.

"We think that the New York Sports and Convention Center can breathe new life into the High Line," said Thad Sheely, the Jets' vice president for development.

The proposal has some strong backers.

"We're pleased that the New York Jets have recognized the value of the High Line and made its preservation and reuse a priority," said Robert Hammond, co-founder of the Friends of the High Line.

But City Councilwoman Christine Quinn (D-Chelsea), who is against the stadium, called the Jets' High Line proposal "a drop in the bucket."

Brian Hatch, who runs NewYorkGames.org, which also opposes the stadium, said the High Line should be preserved in its entirety. "When we get the stadium moved to Queens, we can come up with a plan for that area that will preserve the High Line," he said.

Originally published on April 16, 2004

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