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Van Cortland Park Construction Update (Aug 24, 2009)
By John Nepolitan

Further updates - July 8 | Fence map  |    

AUGUST 25 - A return trip to the park and there was NOTHING DIFFERENT than the trip in early July.  Word from VCP is that the new fences (the red lines on the fence map above) will start going up on Sept 8.

With the 2009 track season now over, attention turns right away to cross country.  With the mega Manhattan Invitational, the North East Footlocker Regional, and a countless other meets to be hosted at New York’s Van Cortlandt Park, the historic course in the Bronx will be the focus for action starting in early September.  In 2008 the New York City Park’s Department began a renovation project on “the flats” altering the start of some of the courses and forced changes to the administration of other races. 

During the spring word started to circulate that work was ending on the north end of the park and was starting to get underway at the south end – directly in the path of the start of the 2.5 mile course. 

A ride to see the work on the course was in order, here is what you will find.

Looking north (below left) and south (below right) from Broadway  it is clear to see that there has been a great amount of work done in the fenced area that was set up last year, but there still seems to be a good amount of work to go.  With just four men working late morning on July 2, it appears that it will be still weeks before work is completed.


Looking back toward the 2.5 mile start you can see that the fence at the end of the finish area has not been moved or extended, but there are a few new trees that have been planted. Without having the fence corner pushing the pack out a little, these trees will be directly in the path most runners would naturally take.  Once the fence comes down it will have to be seen how these effect the races.


One project said to be in the works is repairing the trails once again. From a walk through the freshman course it did not seem like work had begun in this area either, but there was some work done in the 2.5 mile course finish straight where the path had pot holes filled in and the area looked smoothed out.  Right near the 2.5 mile finish where the jogging path would branch off and runners would switch over to worn out dirt a track like chute has been added.


At the end of August be sure to check back for an update when a return trip is planned to see how work has progressed.