Fast tracked: McCarren Park track, field reopen ahead of schedule

Jolly jogger: Runner Nicholas Gomez ran all the way from his Bushwick home to test out the new track, which he gave an enthusiastic thumbs up.
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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

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.
Updated 7:21 pm, February 27, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Melinda Octavio from Astoria says:
Yea , it’s because Ocasio Cortes inquest regarding the work that they fast tracked to the finish line. They didn’t want her on their backs questioning them and And bully them
Feb. 26, 9:50 am
Pootilla de Boothocks from Park Slope says:
To all the people criticizing Donald Trumb - look at what he’s done now! You think it was this fast because of Billda Blasio? No no no !
Feb. 26, 12:26 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Under the leadership of Mayor Bill, our parks are doing better than ever! Don't forget to vote today for Jumaane Williams for Public Advocate!
Feb. 26, 1:48 pm
Tyler from pps says:
The fact that this was even scheduled to take a YEAR is ridiculous. Also, there's a lot of stuff that's been refurbished or replaced, but $4 million? The city really needs to start saying "No, try again" in the bidding process. And before one of the right wingers pipe up, no, it's not because of union labor. It's because of every contributing component extracting big profits because it's a city job. There is a select few filling their bank accounts to overflowing with tax payer's money, and it ain't the workers doing the building.
Feb. 26, 3:26 pm
Fohtwandah from Williamsburg says:
And they haven’t done anything about the parking?!? If your going their - how are you gonna get their? Your gonna drive! And then what?? Park you’re car !!! But where?
Feb. 27, 10:34 am
Chazzz from Greenpoint says:
Anything for the yuppies and real estate developers. Money doesn’t talk, it swears. - B. Dylan
Feb. 28, 5:54 am

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