High Bridge Restoration Off and Running

It’s about a year-and-a-half behind the schedule announced in 2007, but the rehabilitation of the High Bridge, a pedestrian and cyclist link between Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, is off the ground.

Per an email from project coordinator Ellen Macnow of the Parks Department, via Inwood and Washington Heights Livable Streets

A contract has been signed with the firm Lichtenstein Consulting Engineers, and they will start work soon. Lichtenstein is charged with producing designs for the bridge, including structural improvements, new ramp access and new protective fencing. Their work will result in a contract to be bid out for construction, which is funded by Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC program.

Public comment meetings will be scheduled in the spring.

Macnow says the High Bridge Coalition "will be working hard this year to engage the local and advocacy communities in the design." (Parks has already conducted at least one round of public input, in August of ’07.) There was also concern upon the project’s announcement nearly three years ago that access would be limited to daytime weekend hours, a fear Macnow tried to mitigate. "We want everybody who wants to use the bridge to use the bridge," she said.

Built as part of the Croton Aqueduct in 1848, the High Bridge spans the Harlem River to connect
Washington Heights with the High Bridge neighborhood. It stopped carrying water in 1958, and was closed to the
public completely in 1970.

  • J

    This is great news!

    Also, the city’s already built a nice little Greenway on the Manhattan side leading from 165th Street & Edgecombe Ave to the High Bridge entrance, which is currently closed. The greenway lets you avoid the long stairway down from the water tower.

  • Paul B

    That short pants fence along the footpath is obviously going to have to go the way of something taller, but please let it be something purpose designed and attractive. From my smallhood I recall a handsome staircase from the bridge to the tower, which I’d like to see duplicated, or even improved on, and with some other provision for bikes.

    The despoilation of the Harlem Valley caused by the Cross Bx Exprsswy bridge and all its ramps is irreparable, but bringing back the High Bridge is something important.

    Bette Midler has earned a place in any heaven I have anything to do with.

  • In the interests of transparency, here’s the award notification from the city bid system (stumbled across it today while looking for something else):

    Construction Related Services
    ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES FOR THE REHABILITATION OF THE HIGH BRIDGE – Request for Proposals – PIN# 8462007M037D01 – AMT: $4,049,523.00 – TO: LICHTENSTEIN CONSULTING ENGINEERING, PC 350 FIFTH AVENUE, SUITE 2920, NEW YORK, NY 10118-0110
    Published
    2/11/2010

    Award
    Request for Proposals Agency
    DPR / Capital Projects

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