The long-awaited footbridge linking Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1 and Brooklyn Heights is officially a go.
Squibb Park Bridge — which will extend from the sunken park at Columbia Heights and Middagh Street over Furman Street and down to the verdant former pier below — is off the chopping block after the Brooklyn Bridge Park board of directors approved the construction contract for the $5-million bridge last week.
Park officials hope that the pedestrian pathway will curb complaints over access to Pier 1, which is quite a schlep from any direction. That said, park officials touting the bridge as being “nearby” the A, C, 2 and 3 train lines is misleading — in fact, the trip to Pier 1 at the foot of Old Fulton Street would only be cut down by a block or two when walking from the south.
The bridge’s design and build-out, which is expected to start next summer, will be handled by HNTB Engineering and Architecture — a firm with an impressive bridge-design resume, including the reconstruction of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington State that collapsed horrifically (or exhileratingly, depending on your point of view) in 1940.
The city-owned park will pay the firm up to $404,000 for the design work.
Squibb Park Bridge was off the table for almost a year, due to an already struggling $350-million park budget — that is, until the city allocated $55 million earlier this year.
But there’s bound to be some controversy once construction begins next summer, as locals and politicians are already complaining about the fate of Squibb Park — which children from the nearby PS 8 use as playground space while the school completes its own construction — and the kiddies that use it every day.
“I am writing you to ask that you coordinate with the [school] administration … to ensure that PS 8 students do not forgo playground space,” school parent Doug Biviano, a two-time political loser, told Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer.
Park board member John Raskin — appointed by state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn Heights) — echoed Biviano’s concerns.
Myer responded that she will “make sure that we coordinate.”