As anyone who’s been there knows, Brooklyn Bridge Park is the bomb. Besides hosting Time Out Market New York, the place hums with special activities and is especially notable as a showcase for public art projects. But one piece of the pie has been missing for some time: The Squibb Bridge, which, after years of renovations and cost overruns, is set to officially re-open on Monday, May 4.
This is actually the second iteration of the zig-zagging span designed to take people from the park to the Squibb Playground near the Brooklyn Promenade by going up and over Furman Street.
Designed by architect Ted Zoli of the firm HNTB, the structure originally opened in 2013 and featured a pathway made of wooden planking, giving it a bouncy suspension that make it feel as if you were traversing a rope bridge across a jungle gorge. It was a whimsical touch that proved to be dangerous, due to poor execution of the plan. The bridge was shuttered in 2014 to fix the problem, which was expected to take a few months at a cost of $700,000. Instead, it took nearly three years with a price tag that ballooned to $3 million. Yet, its inherent flaws were never truly remedied, and the bridge closed once again 15 months later.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation sued HNTB, for $3 million—the cost of the repair—though the case was finally settled with no admission of liability from either party. The first Squibb Bridge was torn down, leaving its supporting pillars. The firm Arup was brought in to recreate the design, this time by reinforcing the trestle with steel.
Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation said that the new bridge will facilitate social distancing by providing another exit from the park. Perhaps, but in the meantime, the Squibb Bridge provides another amenity in a park filled with them.
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