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Rail Trestle-Turned-Park Doubling in Length

Publication Date: 8/19/2009
Author: Nadine M. Post
Format: HTML

Restoration work for a rail-to-trail with a lift—elevated 18 ft to 20 ft on an abandoned trestle—is called “an engineer’s dream,” even though parts of the 71-year-old steel structure, not used for commerce since 1980, were in “terrible condition,” says the structural engineer charged with preserving the section of the trestle that slices through, between and above 10 blocks of buildings and streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It is a dream because the elevated rail line, renamed the High Line in its reincarnation as a linear urban park, was designed for a 10,000-psf live load during its active years, when trains hauled food from the city’s meat-packing district toward markets to the north.

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