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Department of Parks & Recreation

BREAKING: Uptown Greenway Bridge Will Be Fixed, Starting Next Week

10:33 AM EDT on September 27, 2018

Here’s how the bridge looked when it was abruptly closed in August. Photo: Liz Marcello

Monday morning sure looks fine.

On Oct. 1, the Parks Department will begin repairs on a key link in the Washington Heights segment of the Hudson River Greenway — which was closed by the city on Aug. 24 with no repair or contingency plan in place.

But after pressure from Streetsblog and uptown cyclists, the Parks Department announced that it had finally set a schedule for repairs: The work will start on Monday and last approximately one month, pending "shift scheduling and weather," spokesperson Crystal Howard told Streetsblog. Howard said the repairs will focus on "unseen structural support" and "the surface decking."

Parks and DOT closed the bridge in August "out of an abundance of caution," the day after Streetsblog called attention to its shabby condition. For weeks ever since, commuters on the country's busiest bike path have been in the dark as to what exactly is wrong with the bridge, and when they could expect it to re-open.

Activists hailed the good news, but were confused why it took so long.

"It’s nice that they finally got repairs scheduled and will get on with fixing a bridge that has been in dire need of repairs for many, many years," said Liz Marcello, a Washington Heights resident who co-organized a rally for bridge repairs last Sunday. "I’m happy they are fixing it, but I’m still wondering why it had to get to this point to get something done about it. It’s absurd."

The upcoming repairs are merely a stop-gap ahead of a full rehabilitation of bridge, set to begin late next year. The $5.7-million capital project has been in the works for nearly a decade, but finally wrapped up design last month — two and a half years behind schedule. Parks has yet to determine whether the bridge will remain open during capital construction.

In the meantime, Parks encouraged cyclists to take one of two detours: a chip-covered path that requires traversing a highway emergency ramp, or local streets via the pedestrian bridge at 181st Street.

That route leads to Fort Washington Avenue, which typically looks like this:

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