Liberty St. Bridge inches toward completion

Downtown Express photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic The Battery Park City Authority has completed work on its portion of the Liberty Street pedestrian bridge, but a handful of other agencies now have to do their part before the passage over West St. can reopen — hopefully by late spring.

Downtown Express photo by Dusica Sue Malesevic
The Battery Park City Authority has completed work on its portion of the Liberty Street pedestrian bridge, but a handful of other agencies now have to do their part before the passage over West St. can reopen — hopefully by late spring.

BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC  |  The closed Liberty Street pedestrian bridge has taken a small step toward reopening — but it still has quite a hike ahead.

The Battery Park City Authority has finally finished work on the eastern protion of the enclosed walkway over West St., said Gwen Dawson, vice president of real property, said at the authority’s meeting on Tues., Oct. 27.

This clears the way for the multitude of other agencies involved in the Kafakaesque reconstruction to get their parts of the work done.

Once the state Department of Transportation wraps up its frontage work on West St., which is slated to be done by the end of this year, Brookfield can fit out the interior of the bridge, Dawson said.

If all goes smoothly, the bridge may be open by late spring or early summer, she said.

The authority originally contracted Tully Construction to do the work in 2009, and expected the project to be completed in 2010, but “scheduling challenges” of coordinating with both the Port Authority and the state D.O.T. delayed the start of the work for about six years, said Dawson. The authority spent almost $4 million for its portion.

The Liberty Street Bridge will connect Brookfield Place on the west side of West St. to Liberty Park, a one-acre green space currently under construction atop the Port Authority’s Vehicle Security Center for the new World Trade Center campus.

Earlier this month, Glenn Guzi of the Port Authority told Community Board 1 that Liberty Park would not open until the bridge is complete.

Before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the bridge, originally known as the South Bridge, connected the World Trade Center to the World Financial Center, now known as Brookfield Place. The bridge sustained heavy damage during the attacks, but did survive. It was repaired and reopened in 2002, but was closed in May this year for the current work.

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