BBP News: At One End, Squibb Bridge to Re-Open This Wednesday / On the Other, Judge Tells BHA and BBP to Work It Out

Love it or hate it, after three years of shut-down and unanswered questions, Squibb Bridge will be back in bouncy action this Wednesday, albeit with a lot less bounce. According to today’s New York Times report:

What was billed as a temporary closing dragged on for months, then years, as a successful fix eluded the bridge’s designer, a noted engineer named Ted Zoli, the recipient of a MacArthur grant. Compounding the problem was the fact that the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, which operates the park, was strangely reticent about the exact nature of the trouble and what was being done to address it.

While BBPC commenced a lawsuit for breach of contract and professional misconduct against Zoli’s firm, BBPC footed the $2.5M bill to repair the bridge. “I didn’t want the litigation to impede our ability to move forward and get this bridge open as soon as possible,” said Alicia Glen, deputy mayor and chairperson for BBPC. “This is such a great amenity to the neighborhood. It was better to spend the money necessary to fix the bridge and then try to recover as much money as possible.”

And on the other end of the park, Brooklyn Paper reports that a hearing was held in the Brooklyn Heights Association’s lawsuit against the proposed towers at Pier 6. Presiding over the hearing was Judge Lucy Billings who admonished BHA’s lawyer that “[w]hat you would want to talk to [BBPC] about is what changes you’d want to make to the project to make it more palatable for the community. My first question when you come back [into court] is going to be how much dialogue you’ve had.”

Meanwhile, BBPC’s lawyer complained to the Judge that the BHA would not budge from its position unless affordable housing units in one of the buildings were eliminated and the project was changed “in a major way.” BHA, on the other hand, had previously suggested compromises, “such as moving the proposed affordable housing to the park’s headquarters on Furman Street in exchange for reducing the height of one of the towers.” The hearing ended with the parties being called into the Judge’s chambers for off-the-record discussions, which neither side would comment about.


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  • T.K. Small

    Somehow, I don’t think this is the real reason for the bridge closure. More realistically is that having pedestrians that close to what ultimately became very significant construction is the real cause.

    Also, I would suggest getting a new picture of the bridge now that the buildings are essentially completed. As someone who used to sit in Squibb Park and read, the natural light has very much changed as a result of these buildings. What used to be a breathtaking view has been destroyed.

  • Andrew Porter

    Another formerly quiet part of the Heights—I’m talking about Willowtown and Joralemon Street, which used to be quiet backwaters until the onslaught of passers-by—will go back to having tons of tourists passing through.

    Hopefully there won’t be a repeat of the vandalism and graffiti that the northern Heights experienced previously.

  • meschwar

    Timing certainly feels suspicious, I admit. I can only say that I happened to walk on the bridge a few times shortly before it closed and thought, “whoah, this is bouncier than it used to be.”

  • Diesel

    Take the foil out of your conspiracy cap, buddy.
    My “Human” took me for a over that bridge a few days before it was closed, It was way bouncier than it had been and was leaning slightly towards one side. I knew something was wrong with it.

  • Cranberry Beret

    Are you talking pre- or post-demolition of the Cold Storage Warehouses for the breathtaking view? I’m totally against what the park corporation and the hotel/condo builder did by evading the height agreement on the new buildings. But I’m not moved by complaints that the vista — building-free — was “destroyed.” The deal all along was that the warehouses would be replaced by similar new structures…the temporary empty space was definitely lovely, but was known and agreed to be short-lived.

  • North

    There will be problems without a doubt. Did anyone not see the fights and crime the last 3 times the park was emptied of thugs.

  • Nathan Hale

    Well, when responsible people like me testified at numerous hearing in the let 80’s and early 90’s that exactly this was going to happen they were a) ignored and b) demonized. Now you all want sympathy? Unfortunately, many decent innocent people are going to be hurt….and this was all fully avoidable….