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RAIL SHOT AT PROSPERITY

HIGH LINE PLAN A $174M BOOST

By TOM TOPOUSIS

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December 8, 2006 -- The future of the far West Side could get a big boost from an aging rail trestle that has already lifted the fortunes - and the property values - of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District.

Friends of the High Line last night unveiled a study that claims using the steel trestle's northern section in a proposed redevelopment of the West Side rail yards would generate an extra $174 million for the city and MTA.

"There's a possibility it could be torn down by the redevelopment of the yards," said Joshua David, co-founder of the group, which successfully saved the southern section of the rail trestle running from 30th Street to Gansevoort Street. It will be converted into a park.

A section of the elevated structure north of 30th Street is not part of any preservation plan, he said. The unprotected section of trestle runs along West 30th Street, from 10th to 12th Avenues, and north on 12th Avenue to 34th Street.

Rather than tearing down the trestle, Robert Hammond, also a co-founder of Friends of the High Line, said saving the structure could link all the ambitious projects slated for the far West Side district now called the Hudson Yards.

tom.topousis@nypost.com



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