Volume 17, Number 46 | April 8 — 14, 2005

B.P.C. tot lot/dog run to open by end of May

Bruce Springsteen might say the soil for the Battery Park City tot lot and dog run was stuck “somewhere in the swamps of Jersey” or more accurately, maybe it just got “lost in the flood.”

The neighborhood’s much-debated and long-awaited dog run and play area near Gateway Plaza will likely open at the end of May, said Leticia Remauro, spokesperson for the Battery Park City Authority. Remauro said last month’s heavy rains and flooding in New Jersey has delayed the project a few weeks. Just when the authority was getting ready to test the soil that took several weeks to mix, all the work was lost and the soil will have to be remixed by another company, Remauro said at a Community Board 1 committee meeting Tuesday.

The soil is for the plantings and trees that would be over a pumphouse and is part of the redesign of the Kowsky Plaza area near Liberty St. Plans for the redesign began before 9/11, which led to some of the delays. The pumphouse was used to help cool the World Trade Center and the Port Authority, which owns it, will use the mechanism for the new W.T.C. buildings.

Pro and anti-dog factions as well as parents have debated the redesign of the plaza for years and eventually a compromise was reached that C.B.1 supported.

Sharon Fortenbaugh, a Gateway Plaza resident, said her toddler has been noticing the play area lately and frequently goes up to the fence. “My tot has been looking with great interest trying to get in,” she told a reporter.

Remauro said it is possible the area will reopen a little earlier but she wanted to be safe and say the end of May.

She said north neighborhood owners will have a larger dog run this fall as part of the redesign of three traffic islands on North End Ave. The run will be large enough to set aside a separate area for smaller dogs, Remauro said. The north island closest to Chambers St. will be a sitting area, the middle will be the dog run and the third will be a greenhouse.

--Josh Rogers

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