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Moly on the High Line


The High Line, a truly unique New York City park, started life as a railway thoroughfare from one end of the city to the other, transporting goods high above the congested streets. After years of neglect and deterioration, the High Line has been reinvented as a dazzling, elevated public space, thanks in no small part to molybdenum-containing stainless steel used in its reconstruction.

Photo credit: © Jakob Rope Systems

The 2.3-kilometer-long elevated park features art displays, scenic overlooks, shopping and green spaces, and hosts activities for individuals of all ages, ranging from Tai-Chi to stargazing. Today the High Line is a happy place: a bustling, but peaceful public space; although less than twenty years ago, it was an eyesore; an untended industrial graveyard.

In 1999, Manhattan residents formed a community group called 'Friends of the High Line', with a vision to transform the defunct railway into an elevated park-greenway. Work finally commenced in 2006 and the first section was opened to the public in 2009.

Some of the High Line's most visible elements are made of Type 316 stainless steel, including the net and cable railing system used throughout the park. Stainless steel hardware also beautifully accents the wooden furniture which provides opportunities to relax and contemplate. Fully accessible Type 316 stainless steel staircases lead the public from the busy streets below to the peaceful promenade above.

Type 316 stainless steel containing 2% molybdenum was chosen for its durability, corrosion resistance and low maintenance costs. The addition of molybdenum to stainless steel imparts excellent resistance to atmospheric corrosion, a problem for some metals in coastal environments and in urban areas where deicing salts are used on the roads.

Stainless steel even provides a moment of drama where part of the existing floor has been replaced with a glass viewing platform running diagonally across the route, supported by stainless steel grating.

The High Line provides a unique horizontal experience in an otherwise vertical landscape and its success speaks to the enduring legacy of steel in history. Durable, corrosion-resistant and easy to maintain, molybdenum-alloyed stainless steel has the potential to outfit countless re-imaginings of forgotten places throughout the world.

You can read more about molybdenum's role in creating the High Line park in MolyReview, in which we showcase some of the most interesting and amazing uses of molybdenum. This post is adapted from the full article; to jump straight to it, click here.

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