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High Line – Moynihan Connector

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Field Operations

New York, New York, United States

June 2021


Brooke Dexter (Director of Communications), Will Speros (Professional Communications Manager)


Tillotson Design Associates (Lighting Designer), Thornton Tomasetti (Structural Engineer), WSP (MEP & Civil Engineer), Buro Happold (Traffic / Mobility Engineer), Turner Construction (Design-Build Contractor


Empire State Development, Brookfield Properties, and Friends of the High Line


Brookfield Properties and Turner Construction Company (01), Andrew Frasz (02-05, 08-10, 12), Lucas Blair Simpson © SOM (11)


The fully accessible, 600-foot-long Connector seamlessly integrates nature into the infrastructure and urban fabric while also creating an episodic journey, promoting pedestrian safety, and enhancing ADA accessibility.

Composed of two bridges, each with their own architectural expression and experience yet aesthetically united by a warm material palette, the Connector offers an inviting space protected from Lincoln Tunnel traffic below. The 260-foot-long Timber Bridge, a glulam truss with less embodied carbon than a steel structure, is made from sustainably sourced Alaskan yellow cedar and requires minimal connections to the ground, allowing existing roads to remain undisturbed. The bridge’s Warren truss is a nod to the historic industrial character of Chelsea and its steel rail bridges, while bringing forward a sustainable, contemporary aesthetic with the use of renewable timber.

The 340-foot-long Woodland Bridge extends the High Line’s immersive landscapes with deep and continuous soil beds, supported by architecturally exposed weathered columns and angled bracket arms. Suspended above the planting beds, the open joint walkway collects rainwater for a lush landscape for birds and native pollinators. The layered planting approach inspired by an Eastern Deciduous Forest is catered to New York’s seasons, providing a varied experience for visitors throughout the year.

The planting shifts from high to low to create a varied experience as visitors move from east to west and west to east. The dynamic landscape allows pedestrians to see the timber structure rise over the diagonal pathway and creates a visual link to the trees from Magnolia Court in Manhattan West.


The High Line – Moynihan Connector is the result of a $50 million public-private partnership established in 2021 among Empire State Development, Brookfield Properties, and Friends of the High Line, running above property owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and in ongoing partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Numerous community and elected officials, neighborhood organizations, and community boards were consulted in the planning and concept process for the Connector, which is part of a longstanding vision to create safer, more enjoyable pedestrian access, connect people to transit, and seamlessly link public open spaces and other community assets.

Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Field Operations and resulting from a highly collaborative effort between the design team, contractors, and the client team, the Connector is composed of two bridges running above Dyer Avenue and West 30th Street. The bridges create new connections for pedestrians, from the doorstep of Moynihan Train Hall to the contemporary public spaces of Brookfield Properties’ Manhattan West to the verdant gardens and historic structure of the High Line. The project facilitates a seamless link between the High Line, one of the city’s most beloved public parks that welcomes nearly 8 million visitors per year, to New York’s most active transit hub with over 700,000 passengers per day, transforming a once hostile pedestrian environment previously dominated by cars and urban infrastructure.


The Connector is one of the first timber infrastructures in Manhattan. The design team selected mass timber as a material that is low maintenance and far more environmentally efficient than steel, following calculations that showed that using steel would double the carbon footprint. Despite challenges with city building codes and limitations within the timber industry, the team was able to find the right suppliers and manufacturers to make this project a “first” for NYC. In addition to introducing mass timber into the urban environment, this project sets a precedent for using mass timber as an increasingly accepted building material, serving as an alternative to steel or concrete.

Creating a vibrant landscape in Midtown West, the Connector also extends the ecological corridor of the High Line by supporting a landscape for birds and native pollinators. The landscape insulates noise and wind while providing shade and shielding pedestrians from traffic below, creating a more hospitable and green space within this dense part of the city.

Within its first 8 months since opening, the Connector has seen an estimated total of over 100,000 pedestrians just during peak commuter hours, with thousands of visitors crossing the bridges each day. In addition, the Connector has inspired a new site for art installations, as the High Line has since developed an initiative to program the previously disused commercial billboards adjacent to the Connector. The Connector-inspired billboard series has allowed the High Line's art program to expand, reaching an even wider public audience.

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