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One of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s final pieces of parkland is moving forward

Pier 3, which will encompass five acres, got its ceremonial groundbreaking

Construction on the 85 acres that make up Brooklyn Bridge Park began in earnest in 2008, and in the eight years since, that waterfront space has been completely transformed. Disused piers became verdant fields and basketball courts; walking paths have been carved from former industrial spaces; and a beach and marina have even been plopped on the edge of the East River.

And now, one of the final pieces of the park puzzle is coming to fruition: Today, city officials and representatives from Brooklyn Bridge Park—including outgoing president Regina Myer, who steps down this week—broke ground on Pier 3, the last of the six piers that will be turned into parkland. Speakers included State Senator Daniel Squadron, Council Member Stephen Levin, and landscape architect Michael van Valkenburgh, who noted that he’s been working on the park for the better part of two decades.

Myer called the space "our Sheep Meadow," and indeed, the most striking feature of Pier 3 is its enormous large open space, a huge central lawn that will be surrounded by walkways. The design also includes a "play labyrinth" for kids, as well as a space that can be used for events or other recreational activities. All told, the pier will cost $26 million, and it’s expected to be completed in 2018.

As Myer noted during the event, this now means that 90 percent of the park is either completed or under construction; there are still some sections (like the Pier 2 uplands, where the Pop-Up Pool is currently located) that are still in the works. But with work beginning on Pier 3, the park is one step closer to being fully realized.