Hot new bridge alert!

The first span of a pedestrian bridge connecting the Financial District to the southern edge of Battery Park City was spotted on the end of a crane in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday. Tipster Richard Sackmann told Gothamist that the structure arrived by barge early this morning, and that it was "quite a sight watching them unload it and hoist it over the Esplanade."

The crossing, officially known as the West Thames Street Pedestrian Bridge, was expected to be completed in 2010 for roughly $20 million. But last summer, Crain's Business reported that the bridge was still suffering from delays—due in part to a "weld defect"—and that the price tag had ballooned to close to $40 million.

"On behalf of the city and [the Economic Development Corporation], I obviously think this is unfortunate at best and outrageous at worst," then-Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said during the meeting last summer. "We will make sure that all resources are thrown at this to make sure that we can move expeditiously."

According to the EDC, which managed the project, the final cost of the bridge was $45 million. The majority of that was covered by federal grant money provided to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. The structure itself was built by Skanska and designed by WXY.

The lenticular truss bridge will open to the public this fall following engineering testing and inspections, according to the city. When fully installed, it will stretch 230 feet across West Street, replacing the "temporary" crossing at Rector Street that was built after the area's two other bridges were destroyed on 9/11. Its service complete, that bridge will presumably set sail for the upstate farm for retired infrastructure.