Volume 22, Number 22 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | October 9 - 15, 2009
Rector bridge will stick around
The city nixed a proposal for a new pedestrian bridge over West St. at W. Thames St., meaning the temporary Rector St. bridge could remain up indefinitely.
The Battery Park City Authority already hired SHoP Architects to design a new bridge to connect southern B.P.C. to the Financial District, and earlier this year SHoP unveiled a terra cotta helix-shaped structure to do the job.
But the authority cannot spend money on the bridge, which will cost in the tens of millions of dollars, without the city’s signoff. The city’s Office of Management and Budget “said that due to the current fiscal situation, they would prefer not to fund it this year,” said Leticia Remauro, spokesperson for the B.P.C.A. “Since they did not fund it, we’re done. We stopped where we were…. We did all we could.”
The authority had hoped to open the bridge by the end of 2010, so it could serve the new K-8 school opening next fall in southern B.P.C. Remauro said O.M.B. knew about the school opening but still decided not to fund the bridge. The city could allow the B.P.C.A. to build the bridge in a future year when the economy improves.
Since the middle of July, the south neighborhood has had no bridge at all, since the Rector St. bridge was closed for State Dept. of Transportation work. The Rector bridge should reopen by this Fri., Oct. 9.
As for how much longer the Rector bridge will hold up, since it was only supposed to last two years when it was erected in 2002, “I would not even hazard a guess,” Remauro said.