Construction Update: Sandblasting at the Rail Yards

30th Street The transformation of the High Line’s final section into public open space has begun. Within the grey containment tent at West 30th Street, construction workers are cleaning and painting the High Line’s steel structure, one of the first tasks to prepare the site for waterproofing and landscaping. Photo by Timothy Schenck

Site preparation is underway on the third and final section of the High Line. Construction crews are working through the cold winter temperatures to clean and paint the High Line’s railing, steel beams, girders, and columns.

Follow us after the jump for photos and more details.

30th Street The view looking north from the High Line at West 27th Street. Photo by pentaxqute

When you visit the High Line this month, you can’t miss the construction happening all around the park’s northern terminus.


Cranes are erecting the steel framework for a new residential building at the southwest corner of West 30th Street and 10th Avenue. Across the street, bulldozers are excavating and preparing for the first tower in Hudson Yards. On the High Line itself, you see a portion of the elevated railway wrapped with grey canvas, creating a containment tent. Inside the tent, crews are removing dirt and graffiti from the High Line’s steel through a process called sandblasting.

In the photo at right, you see a member of the crew removing concrete from a High Line column, which was previously filled as part of a building project below the elevated railway. The construction team must remove the leftover concrete encasements and residue on columns and beams, so that these steel surfaces can be sandblasted as well.


After sandblasting the steel, the team begins applying a three-coat painting system to seal the structure, beginning with a zinc primer coat that must be applied shortly after sandblasting to prevent the raw steel from rusting. Once the primer coats are applied, crews add the topcoat – the iconic “Greenblack” color that was used to paint the High Line’s steel frame and railings between Gansevoort and West 30th Streets.

The steel rehabilitation process proceeds in phases, with all of the work taking place within the containment tent. Once the workers finish painting the topcoat, the tent will be dismantled and reinstalled to the west, so that the sandblasting process can begin on the next section of the elevated railway.

VIEW RENDERINGS for the High Line at the Rail Yards

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Ohm Building Grey canvas wraps around the High Line to create a containment tent for the sandblasting and painting. Once the work is complete, the tent will move to the west, so that the sandblasting process can begin on the next section of the elevated railway. Photo by Timothy Schenck
Empire State Building The High Line’s construction team is coordinating closely with the crew at Hudson Yards, the massive real estate development underway just north of the elevated railway. Pictured here are bulldozers excavating in preparation for site’s first tower. Photo by Timothy Schenck
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