Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park
The Governor officially renamed the park at a ceremony attended by more than 325 dignitaries and residents in honor of Assemblyman Herman "Denny" Farrell. Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park is a 28-acre multi-level landscaped recreational facility rising 69 feet above the Hudson River. The park's concept dates back to the 1960s when the City was under federal orders to build a sewage treatment plant after raw sewage from Manhattan was being discharged directly into the Hudson. The City's decision to build the plant on the Hudson River in West Harlem, led to community leaders demanding a park be constructed on top of the facility - something that had only previously been done in Japan. After Governor Mario Cuomo was elected in 1982, Assemblyman Farrell worked with the Governor to fund the park. Governor Mario Cuomo celebrated the opening of the park after years of design and construction - the first state park in Manhattan - on May 27, 1993.
Since the park's opening, Farrell has been a tireless advocate and regular visitor to the park, which has 3.1 million visitors annually and has grown to be the fourth most-visited state park in the New York State, as well as the most-visited park in New York City. Since 2012, Farrell has supported the state's $11.9 million investment in Riverbank through NY Parks 2020 funding, which has included improvements to basketball courts, the artificial turf, track, and ice rink among dozens of other projects. Most recently, Farrell helped to secure a $600,000 state grant for a planned $1 million renovation of this 800-seat cultural center.
The improvements to Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park reflect the Governor's commitment to revitalizing the state park system and expanding access to outdoor recreation. Governor Cuomo's NY Parks 2020 program is a multi-year commitment to invest $900 million in State Parks. The Governor's 2017-18 Executive Budget allocates $120 million toward this initiative.
Assemblyman Herman "Denny" Farrell Pedestrian Bridge
The Governor also announced the completion of the $25 million pedestrian bridge over the Henry Hudson Parkway at 151st in Manhattan, which will increase access to the Fort Washington and Riverside Parks for bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as the 750-mile multi-use Empire State trail, which will be the longest state trail in the nation and is expected to be completed in 2020.
The Pedestrian Bridge project consists of a 270-foot-long bridge spanning over the Henry Hudson Parkway, Amtrak train tracks at 151st Street, and ramps on each side that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.