Opening Day on the High Line!

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[Staying cool at the Sundeck water feature near 16th Street this afternoon]
Today’s blog post was guest written by one of our new Greeters, Claudia Berger.

Today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony with  Mayor Bloomberg marked the unofficial opening day on the High Line. (The official opening day is tomorrow, Tuesday June 9th, when the park will be open for its first full day, from 7:00am – 10:00pm.) Once the ribbon was cut, the High Line saw its first visitors as the public came up.

I spent the first afternoon on the High Line acting as a Greeter, one of several Friends of the High Line volunteers who walk along the High Line answering any questions visitors might have. When you go up on the High Line, seek us out– you can identify us by our gray t-shirts with the green High Line logo. Most of the questions I was asked today were about the water feature near the 16th Street access point. As the day went on and got sunnier, this became an increasingly popular place to sit, so I spent a lot of time there talking to visitors.

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Site Photography: Planking Installation

Timothy Schenck, on our engineering team, has taken some beautiful site photos throughout the construction process.

More after the jump.

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Action-Packed Construction Update

Section 1 is very busy right now as the team prepares for a delivery of soil in a few weeks. I went up this morning to take stock of all the action happening on the Line right now. Here are some highlights. Click all photos to enlarge.

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Tracks are being re-installed in their original locations, after being marked and stored on the Line during earlier phases of construction. Track installation is almost complete up to Little West 12th Street. Later, the areas underneath the tracks will be filled with soil, and plantings will grow up around them.

Tons more fun after the jump.

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Planks are Delivered

Concrete planks were delivered recently on a flatbed truck, and loaded onto the High Line at 14th Street with a crane.

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Workers began installing the planks at Gansevoort Street, and are working their way north. These 12-foot-long, tapered planks will become the pathways on the High Line.

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The tapered ends of the planks will allow the plantings to push through the cracks, blurring the edges of the hard-surface pathway into the softer planting areas. An early rendering of the concept by design team Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

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Some of the layers of the new walking surface, which is built on a bottom layer of concrete that sits inside the steel frame of the High Line.

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Glenn Collins wrote a great piece for The New York Times in January about the construction going on atop the High Line.

There was also a beautiful slide show by photographer Damon Winter.

Planking is Installed

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Another milestone in Landscape Construction this week: Starting at the High Line’s Southern end at Gansevoort Street, contractors have begun to install the park’s planking system. These twelve-foot long smooth concrete planks will taper at the end, allowing plants to push up between them (and evoking the way the plants grew up around the rails when the High Line went wild.)

This will create an integrated system unlike the traditional park environment with planting boxes, raised beds and guard rails seperating people from planting areas.

Visible under the new planks is the High Line’s drainage system, which is also part of Landscape Construction.

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