Plans are stepped up to repair old footbridge

Downtown Express photo by Yoon Seo Nam

Downtown Express photo by Yoon Seo Nam

It’s old and rusting. The concrete steps are worn with use. There is a net attached to its underside to protect cars passing beneath it from falling debris.

The Morris St. pedestrian bridge’s long and useful life is drawing to a close.

In fall 2014, the bridge’s walkway will be getting an update, the city Department of Design and Construction announced at a meeting of the Financial District Committee of Community Board 1. This little footbridge, which spans the lanes leading to into the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, provides a vital link connecting Battery Park City and the Financial District. Lower Manhattan was split in two by the tunnel’s construction from 1940 to 1951, which was interrupted for a few years during World War II.

A 2009 study showed that the pedestrian bridge had a condition rating of 3.44 out of 7, said D.D.C.’s Bharat Parekh. “Unsafe is probably below 3,” he said, but added that it depends on a number of variables. By the time the project begins, the rating is estimated to be at about 3.04. The construction is planned to take about two years to complete.

The committee generally approved of design that includes elevating the bridge to deal with flooding concerns, installing a handicap-access ramp on both sides, and allowing space for decorative planters and additional lighting. The current bridge will remain in operation until the new one is completed.

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One Response to Plans are stepped up to repair old footbridge

  1. William Shiffman

    The Morris Street Bridge is in area I used to work about 17 years total. No one seemed to know when it opened- presumably 1951 when Brooklyn Battery Hugh Carey Tunnel opened.

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