Volume 22, Number 50 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | April 23 - 29, 2010
Downtown Express photos by Julie Shapiro
The Port Authority moved the entrance to the Liberty St. pedestrian bridge on Thursday in order to continue work on the World Trade Center site.
W.T.C. work less than liberating for many walkers
The entrance to the Liberty St. bridge moved two blocks south Thursday morning, tacking an extra few minutes onto many people’s commutes.
The Port Authority closed the old Liberty St. bridge entrance at Greenwich and Liberty Sts. just after midnight April 22. Part of the old bridge will be demolished to make way for the vehicle security center at the World Trade Center site.
The new bridge entrance, on West St. near Albany St., opened last Wednesday night and connects to the West St. overpass that leads into One World Financial Center.
On Thursday morning, many commuters walked down Liberty St. to the old entrance, and finding it closed, they followed the Port Authority’s signs down to Albany St., wrapping around the former Deutsche Bank building and entering the stairs and elevator to the new bridge in front of 90 West St. along the highway.
The old bridge entrance was dark and funneled pedestrians into a chute made of wood and metal, but the new entrance is bright and airy, with all the beams painted white.
“You like it?” a construction worker asked with pride as a reporter took pictures.
Asked what he thought of the bridge, the worker grinned.
“It’s operating, it’s open, no complaints, so I guess it’s good,” he said.
While the new bridge entrance means a longer commute for some, it got positive reviews from others, particularly those who now have a shorter walk to the bridge entrance.
“It’s great — very convenient,” said Sarah Spencer, a nanny who was taking two young children from their home on Rector St. in the Financial District to P.S. 89 in Battery Park City. “And it’s cleaner.”
Extra traffic agents and pedestrian managers were posted along the new route, but the commuters Thursday morning did not appear to need much help. A traffic agent at Albany and West Sts. said he saw many more people crossing at grade than usual, especially if they had a walk signal when they arrived at the intersection. If they weren’t able to cross immediately, most opted for the new bridge instead.
“Now they have a choice,” the agent said.
-- Julie Shapiro