This Greenway Bridge is Falling Apart — And Should Have Been Replaced By Now

After Twitterverse complains, the Parks Department finally patched up the span — but plans for a complete rehab have been stalled for years.

The Fort Washington pedestrian bridge has looked like this for months. Photo: Liz Marcello
The Fort Washington pedestrian bridge has looked like this for months. Photo: Liz Marcello

Talk about papering over a problem.

Hours after Twitter users kvetched en masse about the decrepit Hudson River Greenway portion in Fort Washington Park — a bridge that has been ailing for years — the Parks Department finally did something.

Not much, but something.

Greenway users have been posting photos of the sickly span for months, showing the top layer of wood peeling back, with fencing and an orange traffic barrel covering the most precarious spot. The bridge is visibly crumbling into the Amtrak tracks underneath it, but it wasn’t supposed to be that way. A rehabilitation has been in the works for nearly a decade.

Brandishing the photographic evidence, Streetsblog asked the Parks Department on Thursday morning why the $3- to 5-million capital project, first announced in September, 2009, was not done yet, especially given that the design process wrapped up last month, two and a half years late, according to the Parks Department’s online capital project database.

We never heard back, but this afternoon the bridge was suddenly patched up:

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All fixed — kind of. Photo: Shane Ferro

One possible explanation for Parks’ swift action: The folks complaining on Twitter tagged City Council Parks Committee Chairman Barry Grodenchik, who asked about the location. Next thing we knew, the bridge was in slightly-more-decent working order again.

Problem solved…sort of.

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3/3 Closing essential, safe #bikenyc infrastructure midday NOT an option anymore, @HudsonRiverPark. #visionzero pic.twitter.com/h8uZnYrh6Q — Joanna Oltman Smith (@jooltman) May 26, 2016 Update: The Parks Department sent us this statement Thursday evening: “Ensuring the safety of all during the holiday weekend, in preparation of increased pedestrian traffic during Fleet Week, NYC Parks has posted signs […]