Volume 22, Number 29 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 27 - December 3, 2009
In February, the Port Authority is planning to open a new entrance to the Liberty St. pedestrian bridge two blocks away to allow World Trade Center construction to continue.
A longer walk for Liberty
Pedestrians will soon have to walk two blocks out of their way to reach the Liberty St. bridge.
Starting in February, the entrance to the pedestrian bridge will move from Liberty St. to Albany St., two blocks south, to make way for construction on the vehicle security center at the World Trade Center site.
Commuters and Battery Park City residents who use the bridge over West St. on a daily basis sounded unhappy with the change.
“It’s a necessary evil,” said Linda Belfer, chairperson of Community Board 1’s B.P.C. Committee. She said she looked forward to a day when Lower Manhattan returned to being “a neighborhood, instead of a construction zone.”
Pedestrians currently enter the bridge through a sidewalk shed on Liberty St. at Greenwich St. Starting in February, they will have to walk south to Albany St. and over to West St., where they will enter the bridge through stairs and an elevator along the highway. The western end of the bridge, which connects to the World Financial Center, will not change.
The bridge extension will be in place until pedestrians can access the 9/11 memorial plaza, which is scheduled to open in Sept. 2011, said Steve Coleman, spokesperson for the Port Authority.
Commuters using the bridge on a recent morning said the changes would make it harder for them to get to work.
“That would really suck,” said Lidia Bonilla, 31, who commutes from Brooklyn to the World Financial Center.
Doris Li, 33, who commutes from Queens, agreed that the changes would be inconvenient, and she thought more people would use the Vesey St. bridge just to the north instead.
When told that the bridge change related to World Trade Center work, Li sounded more accepting.
“If it needs to be done to expedite [the W.T.C.],” she said, “what are you going to do?”
— Julie Shapiro