They crossed the finish line, in record time!
City green thumbs opened the new track and field inside Williamsburg’s McCarren Park almost two months ahead of schedule, delighting athletes who spent much of the last year sprinting around other loops after officials began work on the new facilities.
“It’s awesome, it’s great to see everyone out here,” Williamsburg jogger Kim Strafella told this newspaper on a recent visit to the Lorimer Street green space between Driggs Avenue and Bayard Street. “It’s nicer to be outside, the weather is warming up. It’s nice to see people out here playing soccer and football — it’s nice to see kids playing.”
Department of Parks and Recreation workers last March shuttered the track and field for their $4-million makeover, which officials then said would conclude a year later.
But in late January, the city surprised local fitness fanatics by unveiling the resurfaced rubber track and newly installed artificial-turf soccer pitch, along with new adult-fitness equipment, a misting station, water fountains, bleachers, benches, and planters, said Parks Department rep Maeri Ferguson.
And later this spring, agency workers will install goal posts on either end of the field, according to Ferguson, who said the project funded by the mayor’s office also finished on budget.
Williamsburg residents aren’t the only ones rushing to see the new running oval — the refurbished track is a draw for sprinters from surrounding neighborhoods who lack such training facilities, said a long-distance runner who jogged from his Bushwick home to check out the loop on a friend’s recommendation.
“This track is nice,” Nicholas Gomez said on this newspaper’s recent visit to the park. “I usually run at the Ridgewood Reservoir — it’s the closest thing that’s not a track that I can find that’s like a track.”
— with Natallie Rocha
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