New shady arbors, play areas, community gardens, and dog runs are headed to Battery Park City later this year, as the state Department of Transportation (SDOT) prepares for reconstruction of West Thames Park. The revamped park is part of the agency’s Promenade South program, which is transforming West Street from a utilitarian highway into a landscaped, pedestrian-friendly downtown boulevard.
The park, located on West Street between West Thames and Albany, will undergo an extensive renovation starting this fall. SDOT’s planned improvements include new play structures for young children, a water-play area, small and regular basketball half-courts, and expanded community gardens. Around the park’s central lawn, two arbor structures will create shady seating areas -- part of the larger plan to plant more trees and other foliage.
Dog owners also get to spoil their pets at the renovated dog run on the south end of the park, between West Thames and Third Place, where there will be separate areas for large and small dogs. Work on the dog run is expected to take place from September to November 2009.
SDOT is now finalizing design drawings for the West Thames Park plan, coordinating with local plant nurseries, ordering play-area equipment, and making plans for the new garden spaces. Starting in late summer, crews will relocate the parking area between the Rector Street Bridge and Albany Street to create a construction staging area. Work is then slated to begin in October, with all areas to open by Memorial Day 2010.