Congresswoman Maloney’s Statement Regarding the Re-Opening of Sgt William Dougherty Park
New York, NY – Congresswoman Maloney released the following statement at the ribbon-cutting for the newly renovated Sgt William Dougherty Park:
“Today is the realization of a long-promised transformation of Sgt William Dougherty Park – this area has been a park for generations. In fact – Sgt Dougherty himself played here. When he was killed during the Battle of Saipan, on July 7, 1944, along with nearly 17,000 other Americans and more than 25,000 Japanese, the community honored his memory in 1948 by naming the playground where he had played as a child in his memory. And while I know there have been improvements in the last 60 years, it was time to help this park realize its full potential.
This is the first of the promised parks the state is funding as part of mitigation for the impact of the Kosciuszko Bridge replacement project. For years, the community has lived through street closures, construction noise and disruption while the bridge is being replaced. I am thrilled to have secured $670 million in federal funds for the construction of the new bridge, roughly 85% of the projected cost of replacement. The community is already reaping the benefits of the first span, which has eliminated the steep grade and helped traffic flow more smoothly. When done, we’ll have 9 lanes of traffic, shoulders and a pedestrian/bikeway. And new and improved parks are promised on both the Brooklyn and Queens side.
Thanks to the K-bridge project, Sgt Dougherty Park has gotten a major upgrade. It’s a little bigger and a lot better, with new playground equipment on a rubberized surface, an incredible skateboard park for the more daring among us, sprinklers to help kids cool off, revamped handball and basketball courts, seating areas, a brand new comfort station and a lot more green.
This park needed attention. Like many of us, it was showing its age.
Parks really are the heart and soul of any community. They are a major part of our childhood memories, the places adults can retreat for quiet contemplation or a nice afternoon with friends, a green haven where seniors can go to socialize and enjoy the view.
The newly revitalized, beautiful Sgt Dougherty Park will be an oasis in a densely urban community – a place for new memories to be formed and neighbors to share a sense of community. Thank you to the wonderful parks designers who helped make this possible, and to DOT and the Cuomo Administration for making some dreams a reality.