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Out of bounce! Squibb Bridge to Bridge Park shutters again

Closed again: Brooklyn Bridge Park officials closed the notoriously bouncy, zig-zagging Squibb Bridge to the waterfront indefinitely on Monday after inspectors found a faulty piece of wood.
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Brooklyn Bridge Park leaders on Monday indefinitely shuttered the zig-zagging Squibb Bridge leading to the waterfront lawn, blaming a single, faulty piece of wood for the notoriously bouncy span’s latest closure.

The footbridge between Brooklyn’s front yard and its namesake Squibb Park on Middagh Street will remain off limits to locals until experts can examine the issue, and propose and implement a solution, according to the park’s chief steward.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have temporarily closed the bridge while our engineers conduct further analysis,” read a statement released Monday evening by Eric Landau, president of the semi-private Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, which oversees the lawn. “This analysis will inform the appropriate repair and associated timeline.”

Workers discovered the “piece of wood in poor condition” during a routine inspection, forcing the bridge’s closure roughly 15 months after it reopened last year following a three-year, more than $3-million project to repair previous structural faults plaguing the infrastructure. That prolonged fix began roughly 17 months after officials debuted the $4-million, taxpayer-funded walkway in March 2013.

But a green-space spokeswoman said the wood responsible for the crossing’s latest closure is not related to those issues that previously led it to shutter — which Brooklyn Bridge Park leaders sued the span’s original creator over in 2016, alleging engineering firm HNTB’s “inherently flawed” design that the company subsequently failed to fix rendered the bridge “unstable” and “deformed” within two years of its debut.

Meadow bigwigs blocked Squibb Bridge’s entrances with barricades sometime Monday morning, and a Park Enforcement Patrol officer stationed inside Squibb Park on Tuesday told this newspaper that he was there to make sure nobody tried to sneak by.

And if park caretakers manage to reopen the bridge in the coming months, it may yet close again when workers begin construction on a new public pool inside Squibb Park after Brooklyn Bridge Park’s beloved Pop-Up Pool is drained for good at the end of the summer.

Fortunately, Landau, along with locals and pols, is advocating for the construction of another overpass to the waterfront following residents’ demands for a new bridge between the Brooklyn Heights Promenade at Montague Street and the East River–fronting green space.

Transportation Department experts are looking into the feasibility of an alternate footpath, according to agency spokesman Scott Gastel, who noted maintenance of the Squibb Bridge is the sole responsibility of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 11:57 am, July 18, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Not Surprised from Brooklyn Heights says:
This is what happens when a recipient of the MacArthur so-called "genius" award builds a bridge using environmentally friendly and sustainable wood rather than steel and granite and a design more fitting for the primitive jungles of South America. I predict it will be torn down within 5 years, if it does not fall down of its own accord.
July 18, 7:16 am
John from Brooklyn Heights says:
If anyone believes the Park's excuse, you should think again. Those who live in the Pierhouses don't want people peering into their bathroom windows (yeah, another reason housing in a park is ridiculous), and certainly don't want the noise it brings. Alternatively, this bridge has always been faulty. Where are the politicians who should be calling for another financial investigation of misuse of public funds? Levin? Kavanaugh? Simon? Where are you people on this?
July 18, 8:42 am
Frank from Furter says:
I guess you never heard of galloping gertie. The tacoma narrows bridge made of steel that collapsed. When the brooklyn bridge was built it was not unusual for bridges to fai!.. However with computers now it is somewhat unusual but not unheard of.. The Florida international bridge this year..and wood bridges are a time honored building material.
July 18, 8:52 am
Frank from Furter says:
see https://www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/misc/em7700_8--entire-publication.pdf

The age of wood spans human history. The stone, iron, and bronze ages
were dramatic in terms{corrected} in human progress, but wood-a renewable re-
source-has always been at hand. As a building material, wood is abun­
dant, versatile, and easily obtainable. Without it, civilization as we know it
would have been impossible. One-third of the area of the United States is
forest land. If scientifically managed and protected from natural disasters
caused by fire, insects, and disease, forests will last forever. As older trees
are harvested, they are replaced by young trees to replenish the wood
supply for future generations. The cycle of regeneration, or sustained
yield, can equal or surpass the volume being harvested.
Wood was probably the first material used by humans to construct a
bridge. Although in the 20th century concrete and steel replaced wood as
the major materials for bridge construction, wood is still widely used for
short- and medium-span bridges. Of the bridges in the United States with
spans longer than 20 feet, approximately 12 percent of them, or 71,200
bridges, are made of timber.
July 18, 9:13 am
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
maybe it's time to consider an Aerial Tram
July 18, 9:28 am
Adamben from Bedstuy says:
Maybe we should just let some engineers build it without any politicians or public input. Geez loueeze!!!
July 18, 10:56 am
Rick from Brooklyn Heights says:
Anyone for ACCOUNTABILITY?
July 18, 12:27 pm
BrooklynGersh from The WT says:
I’d love to know the name — not company name but real human name — of the designer so I could help make sure he never works in NYC again.
July 18, 12:49 pm
Billy from Sunset Park says:
It is like a bridge in the Indiana Jones series.

No thanks, I'll chance crossing the highway!
July 18, 4:11 pm
Gargoyle from Newkirk Plaza says:
Aside from the structural flaws, the design itself is tacky, just like the new Shark House at the Aquarium, and whatever it is in front of the Brooklyn Museum.
July 18, 11:39 pm
Kieran from Cobble Hill says:
A bridge that's unsafe, so? This is Bill de Blasio's city where there's lead poisoning and mold, falling ceilings and broken boilers in public housing.
July 19, 4:46 pm
Native Amongst the Gentrischmucks from 45° to the Left Leaning Slope says:
I reluctantly traversed it a few summers back, shortly prior to it's 1st closure. With no exaggeration, I was actually terrified & slightly nauseated while crossing it, what with its undulating bobbing & shifting. I prayed we'd all make it safely across. And yes, Galloping Gertie came to mind (which didn't help, I can assure you). It needs to be demolished before a catastrophic failure, with the cost of both the demolition & construction of the new one borne by the original designers & construction company.
July 19, 4:48 pm

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