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High Line Receives Federal Authorization

Manhattan’s $65 million High Line project to transform an unused railway in the city's Meatpacking District into a visionary promenade has cleared its last major hurdle. On June 13, the Surface Transportation Board, the federal authority overseeing railways, issued a Certificate of Interim Trail Use. The certificate allows the city of New York to negotiate a transfer of the High Line’s ownership from CSX Transportation to the City for reuse as a public space.

Such reuse, converting railways to trails, was made possible by a program called “Railbanking,” adopted by Congress in 1983.

“This is the most important victory yet for the High Line,” declares Robert Hammond of Friends of the High Line, the non-profit organization behind the plan. The group now hopes to break ground in late-2005. The project will be designed by New York-based Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

Ilan Kayatsky