Sick of having to take the ferry to Governors Island? You may not have to anymore if local artist Nancy Nowacek has her way. Nowacek is currently working on building a floating pedestrian bridge that would reduce the trip to the island from Red Hook, Brooklyn to a leisurely 4-block stroll. If successful, the bridge would resurrect a footpath across the Buttermilk Channel that farmers used to lead their cows over during the Revolutionary Era.
Nowacek developed her project ,called Citizen Bridge, as a means of creating a permanently free pedestrian route to Governors Island. While the major waterway between Brooklyn and the island is now a major route for big rig freights, ferries and water taxis, Nowacek hopes her bridge will restore the area to a simpler time, when Brooklyn farmers walked the channel with their cows. The first step will be for the prototype, an assemblage of plywood planks attached to floating shipping drums, to open for a single summer day in 2015 pending the nods of city officials.
Nowacek wishes for all New Yorkers the chance to escape our confining bind with concrete. According to the artist, her floating installation will reconnect us with a true sense of “being with the water.” The water itself is presently highly regulated by the city, but Nowacek wishes to change that by giving Buttermilk Channel back to the people, if only for one short day. The artist has spent the past two years developing prototypes to illustrate her dream.