New Design For Squibb Park Bridge; Steel Not Wood

The Brooklyn Paper reports that Brooklyn Bridge Park honchos have revealed plans for a replacement for the twice cursed Squibb Park Pedestrian Bridge (photo, C. Scales for BHB), AKA the “Bouncy Bridge,” that allowed access from Columbia Heights above Squibb Park to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The new design will be close to the old, but replaces wooden slats with steel ones. It comes at an estimated cost of $6.5 million.

Tip o’ the hat to Brooklyn Paper scribe Kevin Duggan (wonder if he’s kin to my late Bells of Hell/Lion’s Head pal and distinguished journalist Dennis Duggan) for including a reference to one of my favorite bands in his headline.

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  • Daddyo

    Omg, that’s a total of $13 million for that silly bridge — $4.1MM originally, $2.5MM to “fix” it and now $6.5MM for “fix.” Guess $40MM annual budget for BBP easily covers this cost. Wonder if they’ll have to take it down and put it up again once BQE construction happens…

  • Andrew Porter

    I continue to be impressed (not!) by the BBP’s continued disregard for events and actions outside its boundaries. This reconstruction does indeed ignore the possibility that BQE reconstruction will impact it.

    Both stupid and maddening!

  • Reggie

    Less whatever BBP received in legal settlements. Still a horrible situation all around but if you are going to do a line-item accounting, you need to include all of the numbers.

  • Arch Stanton

    No matter what, the BQE will have to turn under Columbia Heights before the bridge, so the work shouldn’t require its displacement. Of course there will be the noise, dust, etc. and there may be times it will need to be shut down for safety concerns.

  • gc

    A real accounting for this fiasco would include some heads rolling.

  • Brixtony

    I never thought I’d read about Steeleye Span in the Brooklyn Paper. From now on, that’s the name of the bridge. Ps: new album on the way soon.

  • SilverShoes

    Walked the park today and there is major construction for the new water park (think fountain not playground) at Pier 2 uplands. There were some suits there so I asked if anyone was feeling it was wasteful to do all this work when there was going to be BQE construction coming soon. The suits stonewalled for a couple of minutes then finally admitted there was no good answer to this. Agree on the stupid and maddening!!

  • BrooklynHeightzer

    The moment I set my foot on that wobbly bridge I knew it would not last…I still don’t get it why it was built, if you already get access to the park from Columbia Heights – in fact both bring you to about the same spot in the park.

  • Claude Scales

    My wife and I saw them a few years ago at the late, great BB King’s on 42nd Street. During a long instrumental break Maddy Prior got off stage and walked through the audience. As she passed right by our table, I blew her a kiss.

  • Cranberry Beret

    My impression of the BQE project is that the Columbia Heights bridge and the Middagh Street bridge need to replaced in any scenario. Which means during construction, the only way to access Squibb Park from the neighborhood will be from the bottom of the hill of Columbia Heights by Pier 1 — i.e. not too far from the other end of the bridge. It’ll literally be a bridge to nowhere for several years, like something out of an Escher drawing.

  • lien49

    Steely Span, or Steely Dan, the song remains the same.

    Calgarians are still reelin’, in the years since their city erected its own money pit of a bridge.

  • Mike C.

    Huh? “access to the park from C.H.” … without benefit of a bridge?? Maybe, you and Arch are BOTH superhuman – sure looks to me like one currently needs wings. To walk via Suicide Hill & 1 Old Fulton does NOT leave you “about the same spot,” and it adds 15 minutes each time.

    I share with others anger and sadness about BBP’s work to date in terms of “local access,” but I believe a bridge near Chapin playgrd is/was a GOOD idea … if “they only had a brain” when it comes to construction, management, etc.

  • Cranberry Beret

    Not true. It is as fast if not faster to walk from (1) the entry spot to Squibb Park on Columbia Heights to (2) the bridge exit spot in Brooklyn Bridge Park, via Columbia Heights/Doughty or Old Fulton/ Pier 1, compared to using the bridge. This was extensively discussed here and investigated/tested when the bridge opened.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    I’ve gotten my 6yo son hooked (along with myself) on their 1980 album Gaucho. Singing the title track (SD’s greatest song in my humble opinion), my son likes to replace “Custerdome” with “Custom House.”

  • meschwar

    I mean, Gothamist did a two-person test. I’m not aware of any peer reviewed study.

    Though I agree that it’s not that much of a difference. The bridge took a much longer time to cross than you ever expected it to. But, it was more friendly to people for whom the steep hill was an obstacle.

  • meschwar

    I read somewhere that BBP settles with the original engineering firm for like $2.5 mil, which is too little, though I don’t really know what they were up against.

  • Reggie


  • FurmanFather

    It may be as fast – but not as safe. Crossing Furman is no picnic for kids / strollers — and “suicide hill” is brutal for older folks both ways. Bridge is needed and a shame it is taking this long and costs this much!

  • gc

    “Nonsense” would better describe the expenditure of $13 million, and counting, on what could easily be described as a superfluous pedestrian bridge.

  • BrooklynHeightzer

    Have there been many accidents on the inclining section of Columbia Heights in the recent years where people have been sliding or tumbling down, or loosing balance and falling? I haven’t heard of any.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Lack of reported accidents/injuries does not necessarily indicate safety/ease of use.

    As a parent I agree with FurmanFather that access to the park was way easier and safer (or at least it felt safer) via the bridge, and back when it was actually bouncy, far more enjoyable too.

  • petercow

    Not sure it’s a Steeleye Span ref. Could be Steely Dan.

  • BrooklynHeightzer

    BTW, the ramp leading to the Squibb Park is quite steep too, given that, if one can’t safely negotiate Columbia Heights, Squibb and the wobbly thing which it is leading to should be avoided as well!

  • StudioBrooklyn

    I wonder if anyone here knows whether the ramp into Squibb is ADA compliant? I’m confident it’s not, so that’s a fair point. But the bridge itself definitely is.

  • Arch Stanton

    It is ADA now, it wasn’t before the bridge was built but was brought into compliance as part of the bridge constriction.
    The Columbia Heights sidewalk going down hill is certainly not ADA compliant.
    Basic guidelines are:
    Max slope of one Inch per Foot.
    A 5 foot wide level rest area every 30 feet.

  • Arch Stanton

    it depends on how the rebuild of the BQE and the Columbia Heights bridge is handled. If it’s the “innovative” plan, the temporary highway would go over Columbia Heights, presumably with enough clearance beneath it to re construct the bridge, meaning there would probably be enough clearance for pedestrians and maybe cars to pass underneath as well. At least at times…

  • StoptheChop

    “The cash to rebuild the project will come from funds generated by
    development projects and concession sales in the green space, according
    to Landau.” So, how much more for-profit commercial activity will the Corporation invite in? What happened to NYC paying for capital expenses?

  • StudioBrooklyn

    They got the shapely bodies. They got the Steely Dan T-shirt. And for the coup-de-gras, they’re outrageous.

  • Claude Scales

    Since Mr. Duggan used the word “Span,” I’m sure his reference was to Steeleye Span, which only has two additional e’s. Studio Brooklyn: sorry to be contrary. I like Steely Dan, too.