After more than five years of planning, demolition and construction, The New York State Department of Transportation held the grand opening of the newly renovated and expanded Sergeant William Dougherty Park yesterday.
The Greenpoint park underwent a $12 million revamp as part of the ongoing construction of the practically adjacent Kosciuszko Bridge.
The Dec. 18 grand opening was attended by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, local officials and members of Sergeant Dougherty’s family who all welcomed the park’s new design.
The previously park, once smaller and in need of repair, now occupies an entire block on Cherry Street between Vandervoort Avenue and Porter Avenue.
The state purchased and demolished the prior warehouse next to the old park as part of the project after a portion of the former park was needed to construct the new Kosciuszko Bridge.
Park goers will now be able to enjoy a brand new playground, skate park, basketball court, handball courts, a water play area with spray showers and a comfort station.
“This park has seen improvements over the past 60 years, but today, we finally see it reach its full potential,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney in a statement. “As the first of the promised parks the state is funding as part of mitigation for the impact of the Kosciuszko Bridge replacement project, we are off to a great start.”
The park’s namesake, Sergeant William Dougherty, was a Brooklyn native and World War II Army National Guardsman, who died in battle on July 9, 1944.
The park was dedicated to Dougherty in 1948.
“It’s fitting that the new Sergeant William Dougherty Park is named for a war hero and local resident who enjoyed the park in his youth, and his legacy will live on through this public space for generations to come,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement.
The Kosciuszko Bridge project, still underway, will replace a 78-year-old bridge with two new state-of-the-art cable-stayed bridges.
The Queens-bound section of the bridge opened in April 2017 and is currently being used to carry three travel lanes in each direction of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway until the second, Brooklyn-bound bridge is completed next year—four years ahead of the original project schedule.
While the state Department of Transportation was in charge of the park’s construction, NYC Parks will own and operate the park.