The much-anticipated second section of the High Line is officially open.
Elected officials including Mayor Michael Bloomberg and High Line supporters were on hand to cut the ribbon Tuesday.
The new addition, known as "Chelsea Thicket," doubles the length of the Manhattan park, taking it all the way from Gansevoort Street to West 30th Street.
Plans are in the works for a third section to eventually extend from West 30th Street.
High Line officials say a number of new attractions are planned this summer including food vendors, art displays and family-themed programs.
"You'll be able to walk for 19 blocks without ever coming into contact with a single vehicle," said Planning Commission Chair Amanda Burden.
The new section cost around $70 million, with $40 million coming from the city. The rest came from federal and state grants as well as funds raised by Friends of the High Line, the group that spent 12 years working to make it all possible.
"It's doubling in length but we think it's much more than a doubling in its overall effect. We're going from a relatively modest sized jewel of a park to something that will have citywide proportions, and yes we're going to have an amazing summer full of incredible programs," said Joshua David of Friends of the High Line.
"Another great example of a really wonderful public-private partnership where you have investment by philanthropic private citizens who care about parks and want to have nice neighborhoods, matching what the city does," said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.
Since its opening in 2009, the High Line has attracted some four million visitors. It has also drawn economic activity to the area surrounding it.
"It's attracted about $2 billion in additional private investment in the area, making this a great economic engine in addition to being an urban masterpiece," said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth Pinsky.
The park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
For more information, visit highline.org.