Mayor Bloomberg broke ground today on the ambitious High Bridge revitalization project to restore New York’s oldest standing bridge and the park area around it. Part of the Old Croton Aqueduct, the bridge links Manhattan to the Bronx. With the bridge’s restoration, community members of each borough will be able to travel from one side of the park to the other, and pedestrians and cyclists will be able to access the Highbridge Pool and Play Center in Manhattan with ease.
From 1842 until 1890, the beautiful Old Croton Aqueduct brought water to Manhattan from the Croton River in Westchester using the power of gravity. Designed to resemble ancient architecture, it has remained disused since. Along with the High Bridge, both bridges have given New Yorkers beautiful views of their city since construction. Seeing the value of these landmarks and the park land around them, Bloomberg’s PlaNYC chose the area as a project for rehabilitation. Over $100 million from mixed funding will re-open the bridge so that more New Yorkers can enjoy the park grounds, sports areas and trails.
Late last year, the Highbridge recreation center and pool designed by Parsons Design Graduate Architecture students, brought a new attraction to the area. The High Bridge renovations, which begin today, will include a quarter mile of new green space, a new section of NYC Greenway for pedestrians and bicyclists, and a link to 125 acres of parkland on both sides of the bridge.
The rehabilitated bridge is set to open in summer of 2014, welcoming visitors to enjoy the parkland in Manhattan and the Bronx.