Brooklyn Bridge Park is a lovely place to escape the city and enjoy nature – except for one thing. Because the park is located right next to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, the sound and sight of cars and trucks was a constant detractor to the otherwise idyllic scene. Luckily, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates was able to design a smart and green solution – a 30-foot berm to block the roadway from the picturesque park.
The berm is comprised of a south-facing sloping lawn and walkway near Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 3. To help hide the sight of the BQE, the 30-foot berm is planted with trees and meadow grass that double as a sound-attenuating barrier. Brooklyn Bridge Park officials and the MVVA group say this addition has reduced the noise pollution in the park by up to 75 percent, or from about 80 decibels to below 68 decibels.
The new walkway also features 30 benches made of long-leaf yellow pine salvaged from warehouses in the area. The park planners built the berm’s foundation underneath the dirt out of recycled granite blocks taken from the Roosevelt Island Bridge reconstruction project and demolition of the Willis Avenue Bridge. Granite blocks are also stacked up six to eight feet high to border the walkway, while more trees and evergreens provide shade for the seating areas.
Images © Alexa Hoyer for BBPNYC