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NYC to Extend High Line Park After CSX Donates Stretch

(Corrects date of second phase in fourth paragraph.)

July 24 (Bloomberg) -- New York City said it plans to extend the High Line, a park built on a disused elevated rail line, to West 34th Street after CSX Transportation Inc. donated a new section to the city.

“The High Line’s first two phases were groundbreaking and with the development of the rail yards section, the trilogy will be complete,” Adrian Benepe, the Parks and Recreation commissioner, said in a statement. Construction on the final phase is expected to begin this year.

The High Line is a public park built along the elevated freight line on Manhattan’s West Side. The railway was constructed 30 feet above street level and was built in the 1930s to remove freight-train traffic from the city’s busy streets. Use of the High Line was suspended in 1980 and it was targeted for demolition in the late 1990s, before a community-based group, Friends of the High Line, fought to preserve the structure. The city now owns it.

The first section opened in 2009, with a second added in June 2011. With the new section, the park will stretch from Gansevoort Street to West 34th Street between 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue.

“The High Line has become a treasured neighborhood oasis, a significant generator of economic activity for the entire city, and a celebrated icon for planners, designers, and leaders around the world,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the statement.

Vital Area

Jacksonville, Florida-based CSX is the largest rail carrier in the eastern U.S., with a transportation network that covers about 21,000 miles.

“We view the donation of the High Line as not simply a transfer of ownership, but a contribution to the vitality of the area,” said Michael Ward, the company’s chief executive officer, in a statement.

The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gillian White in New York at gwhite46@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net

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