Brooklyn Heights

Montague BID wants footbridge to connect Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Bridge Park

BID Says Bridge is Necessary for BQE Construction

November 14, 2017 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The wrought-iron Penny Bridge, circa 1930. Photos and renderings courtesy of the Brooklyn Historical Society
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The Montague Street Business Improvement District (BID), which represents more than 100 small businesses in Brooklyn Heights, has requested that the city build a permanent footbridge from the bottom of Montague Street to Brooklyn Bridge Park.  

Construction to repair the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE), which is slated for the near future, will affect access to Brooklyn Bridge Park, one of the city’s premier parks and waterfront destinations.

The Department of Transportation is considering building a footbridge from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade to the park in order to maintain park access during construction.

The campaign, spearheaded by the BID and endorsed by residents of Brooklyn Heights, civic, church and community organizations, wants to build a modern-day version of the original neat iron bridge that spanned Montague Street from 1859 to 1946.

The original bridge, referred to as the “Penny Bridge,” was built to accommodate a street incline to the waterfront and was demolished in 1946 to make way for the BQE.

“Building the footbridge at the foot of Montague Street to Brooklyn Bridge Park is a great way to use a proven historic solution to connect the neighborhood to the waterfront and the park,” said Kate Chura, executive director of the Montague Street BID.

“Increased pedestrian traffic from downtown Brooklyn, and more than six subways, straight down Montague to the footbridge would offer a great economic boost to the businesses on the route,” added Chura.

Many of the businesses on Montague Street are family-owned and have served the community for more than 50 years, with a few for more than 80, and have weathered economic storms over the years.

In addition to providing access to the park and the waterfront, construction of a permanent footbridge will increase foot traffic and help to support the more than 100 small businesses on the route down Montague Street.

“A footbridge from Montague Street would allow for natural pedestrian flow and support small businesses along the route. This is an opportunity that most likely won’t happen again. Our small businesses are vital to Brooklyn Heights, and we want everybody to be able to get down to the waterfront and visit the park,” said Chura.


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