Construction Begins on New 151st Street Bridge to Hudson River Greenway
The state broke ground this month on a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge linking West Harlem with the Hudson River Greenway.
For cyclists, the bridge will provide stair-free access between the greenway and the intersection of 151st Street and Riverside Drive, spanning the Henry Hudson Parkway and the Amtrak line that runs along the Hudson. Right now the nearest access points, at 148th and 155th streets, have stairs and no ramps. The nearest crossings with ramps are at 135th Street, south of Riverbank State Park, and 158th Street.
The 158th Street connection received a $2 million staircase and ramp from the state Department of Transportation in 2006. Earlier this summer, NYC DOT installed a two-way bike lane on 158th Street as part of a larger package of bikeway improvements linking the Hudson River Greenway to the High Bridge.
A footbridge once linked Hamilton Heights to the park, according to a Daily News article from last year, but was destroyed by fire in the 1950s. Assembly Member Herman “Denny” Farrell Jr. told the Daily News that a plan to replace the footbridge failed in 1996.
“Our community is fortunate to have beautiful waterfronts which complement our public parks, but many find it hard, if not impossible, to access these public spaces,” Farrell said last week in a press release. “Now, all people visiting our parks, including families with baby carriages, bicyclists and people with disabilities who historically had trouble entering, will have an additional way to access the parks.”
The 270-foot bridge will have what state DOT calls a “modern design” for its western landing in the park, and stone-faced retaining walls on its eastern landing to match the existing overlook along Riverside Drive.
State DOT says the project will cost $24.4 million (which could buy a lot of bike lane mileage), including new landscaping and lighting, and is scheduled to be completed in late 2016. A sign at the construction site says work began May 1 and will be done by December 31, 2016.
Update: State DOT has sent a rendering of the bridge, looking south along the Henry Hudson Parkway: