Late last summer, the Squibb Park Pedestrian Bridge—the bouncy, zigzagging span that connects Brooklyn Bridge Park to Brooklyn Heights—mysteriously closed after getting a little too bouncy for comfort, barely more than a year after it opened. It was supposed to reopen in September, but park officials revised that date to spring 2015 and, well, it's spring 2015 and the thing is still closed.
The Times has checked back in on the $4.1 million footbridge and finds—surprise—the park has pushed back the opening date yet again, this time to "late spring." The paper reports:
Belinda Cape, a spokeswoman for the park corporation, attributed the problem broadly to a “misalignment” issue. “Engineers have been working to correct the issue and repair the bridge,” she said. “They’re pulling it back into alignment and testing it, section by section.”
The repairs to the bridge are estimated to run $700,000, and now state Sen. Daniel Squadron, whose district includes the park, has "called on the park corporation to provide a full accounting of the bridge’s defects and to recoup the cost of repairs," according to the Times.
“It’s critical that the bridge reopens safely and that we know what happened,” he said.
Park officials have denied that construction on the massive Pierhouse development, which includes structures being built immediately on either side of the bridge, has anything to do with the span's instability. In the latest progress report, the Times has found another potential scapegoat: WILD, IRRESPONSIBLE TEENS:
In the absence of an explanation, park officials and local residents have speculated that construction at two nearby sites may have compromised the bridge, or maybe it was the tendency of teenagers to jump en masse to accentuate the bounce.
“In an environment like this, if people find out something is moving, they are going to move it to the max, especially younger kids,” said Nick Ivanoff, president of Ammann & Whitney, a leading bridge engineering firm that was not involved in the project.
The Grey Lady also credulously reported that the Squibb bridge is a shortcut to Brooklyn Bridge Park from Brooklyn Heights, but as we documented the day after the bridge opened, the path twists and turns so much that it doesn't save pedestrians any time or distance.
Also for the record, assuming all the $700,000 in repair money has been spent or spoken for, the bridge has now cost $192,000 per month of its existence, or $288,635 for each of the 16 2/3 months it was open.