It's been nearly two years since billionaire Barry Diller announced his plan to pay for a $130 million park over the Hudson River, and since then, the park has faced a persistent legal challenge from the City Club of New York, a good government group concerned that the Hudson River Park Trust didn't adequately invite public comment, rushed environmental reviews, and "violated the public trust doctrine by alienating public parkland to Pier55, Inc., a private entity." Earlier this month, a judge blocked further construction until September, when those opposing the park are set to formally appeal, but yesterday, an appellate court ruled that construction on the park can proceed, though might be halted pending the outcome of that September appeal.

Construction was just underway at Pier 55—which is being funded primarily by Diller and his wife, Diane von Furstenberg—before the injunction came down on June 30th. The injunction has now been modified to allow workers to drive the first 9 piles that will ultimately support the portion of the park extending over the river.

"With the City Club's latest charade behind us, we will get back to building the new public park that local residents have sought for years," a Pier 55 spokesperson said in a statement. "Now that both state and federal courts have denied its demand for an injunction, the City Club should take this cue to finally end its absurd crusade against the wishes of the community. We remain committed to making Pier55 a reality and providing new green space for all New Yorkers to enjoy."

A Hudson River Park spokesperson similarly cheered the ruling, adding that "the plaintiffs have yet to produce a single relevant credible expert, and we're confident the courts will continue to rule in our favor."

Richard Emery, one of the attorneys for the City Club, contested that the injunction was not "lifted," as Pier 55 excitedly announced today, but rather "narrowed," and noted that there will ultimately be a total of 550 such piles. By proceeding, he said, "the Diller developers do that at the peril of having to remove them if we win the case. The Appellate Division's ruling is still that we are likely to succeed on the merits."

However, according to Pier 55, the only construction planned for this summer was the driving of those first 9 piles, so judge's modification of the injunction is essentially allowing work to proceed as planned. The park itself still isn't a done deal—that'll depend on September's ruling, and both sides of this never-ending battle seem equally convinced that they will succeed—but at least until then, the Hudson will get some much-needed...piles!