Brooklyn Heights

Squibb Bridge to Brooklyn Bridge Park closed again for repairs

Former Bouncy Bridge Chained Shut After Inspection

July 17, 2018 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This sign directs pedestrians to the Old Fulton Street entrance to Brooklyn Bridge Park as the formerly bouncy Squibb Bridge has been closed once again.  Photo by Mary Frost
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The formerly bouncy Squibb Bridge connecting Brooklyn Heights to Brooklyn Bridge Park has been closed once again. Both entrances to the bridge are barricaded shut and a sign directs confused tourists to the Old Fulton Street entrance to the park.

Eric Landau, president of Brooklyn Bridge Park, said in a release that a recent routine inspection revealed a piece of wood was in “poor condition,” prompting the bridge closure.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have temporarily closed the bridge while our engineers conduct further analysis. This analysis will fully inform the appropriate repair and associated timeline,” he wrote, adding, “We are working closely with our engineers to reopen the bridge as soon as possible and will provide updates. We appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.”

BBP’s spokeswoman Sarah Krauss told the Brooklyn Eagle on Tuesday, “As a vital access point into the park, we are committed to getting [Squibb Bridge] open as soon as possible.”

While pedestrians were momentarily confused by the closure of the bridge, a handful of Brooklyn Heights residents, commenting on the Brooklyn Heights Blog, said they were happy the bridge closed because of the crowds it brings through the neighborhood.

“The bridge is another route making Brooklyn Heights a thruway to BBP,” complained blog commenter Heights Guy 68.

Another commenter, Bob Law 2, hit back, “God forbid people walk through ‘your’ neighborhood.”

This is not the first time the popular wooden walkway has been closed for repairs since it opened in March 2013. The 450-foot-long, $4.1 million wooden bridge, which bounced noticeably when people walked along it, was shut down in August 2014 when the cables supporting it began to sag and the wooden walkway tilted south.

In January 2016, BBP hired global engineering firm Arup to plan and oversee repairs. The bridge, officially an “underslung suspension timber bridge,” finally reopened in April 2017 — without much of its trademark bounce.

Litigation with the firm that designed it, HNTB Corporation, was settled just this year. HNTB is headed by MacArthur “genius”-winner Ted Zoli.

In April 2017, David Mills, director of Gardiner & Theobald, which manages all the park’s capital projects, said the bridge had an expected 25- to 30-year life cycle, and maintenance would be ongoing, with yearly inspection.

 


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