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Thread: The High Bridge aka Aqueduct Bridge

  1. #16

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    What a beauty!

    Great illustrations/photos!

  2. #17

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    Harlem River is such a lost opportunity. Highway on both sides.

    Could be recreational. Grand promenade and housing. Built up.

  3. #18

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    November 17, 2006
    High Price Tag Given to Open High Bridge
    By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS

    The city’s oldest standing bridge, a long-closed structure named the High Bridge linking Manhattan to the Bronx, has no significant structural problems but needs $20 million to $30 million of work to reopen, according to a study scheduled to be released today.

    It is unclear, however, where the money to reopen the High Bridge would come from and when the bridge might reopen, city officials said yesterday. A complete restoration would cost $60 million, said Ashe Reardon, a spokesman for the city’s Parks Department. The department alone does not have the money for the full project and has no plans to undertake it, parks officials said.

    The pedestrian-only bridge, a city landmark that spans the Harlem River, was completed in 1848 as part of the Old Croton Aqueduct system, which first brought fresh water to Manhattan. But it has been closed since about 1970, according to the Parks Department.

    It is blocked on both sides by a heavy metal gate and razor wire, though it is a common sight in the summer to see children from the Bronx neighborhoods around Yankee Stadium climbing the fence and crossing the bridge to reach the public swimming pool on the Manhattan side of Highbridge Park.

    Though the bridge’s future remains unclear, Representative José E. Serrano, who represents the South Bronx, said the generally positive engineering study conducted by Baker Engineering NY Inc., based in Brooklyn, was a step toward reopening the High Bridge.

    When the High Bridge opened, the 1,450-foot-long bridge was hailed as an engineering marvel. It was built to bring water from the Old Croton Aqueduct into Manhattan during a period of explosive city growth.

    A walkway was added only after the bridge and its distinctive circular archways, modeled after a Roman aqueduct, became a tourist attraction. In the 1920s the bridge’s center masonry arches were declared a hazard to navigation and replaced by a single steel span.

    The Parks Department has said the High Bridge had been closed primarily because people were throwing objects from the bridge at passing boats. To prevent that in the future, the report calls for a barrier along the pedestrian walkway.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  4. #19
    The Dude Abides
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    New life for city’s oldest bridge

    by amy zimmer / metro new york

    JUN 8, 2007

    WASHINGTON HEIGHTS. According to urban legend, the High Bridge was closed in the 1960s because kids threw stones onto the Circle Line.

    There’s no criminal record of that incident, but crime was a factor for closing the pedestrian walkway on the city’s oldest bridge, which spans the Harlem River. Now, the city and community groups are working together to reopen the High Bridge, built in 1848 as part of the Old Croton Aqueduct system that brought fresh water to Manhattan.

    The city committed $60 million toward the renovation, one of several major park projects highlighted in the Bloomberg administration’s sustainability plan.

    “Closing the bridge made both sides less safe,” said Lourdes Hernandez-Cordero, a staff associate at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and co-chair of the High Bridge Coalition. “High Bridge became the haunted house on the hill. Now we have to bring people back.”

    She has been encouraging that through CLIMB (City Life is Moving Bodies), which organizes hikes through Highbridge Park — 119 acres of which are in Washington Heights, where there’s a rec center, pool, ball fields and a newly opened mountain bike trail.

    Because the Highbridge side of the park is less than one acre, many South Bronx kids use the bridge to access the recreation facilities, said Chancy Young, an education activist.

    “They’ve been illegally using the bridge all the time to get there,” Young said. Scaling the giant metal doors is quicker than taking the Bx13 bus across.

    Parks Dept. Commissioner Adrian Benepe said Highbridge Park has come a long way over the past 10 years. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, “the park was a dumping ground for hundreds of cars, including one with a body in the trunk,” Benepe said. “It’s on the side of a cliff, and doing anything there will always be a challenge.”

    Benepe wants the bridge opened and made safer, and though the original rail and brickwork may need to go, he said, “We’ll keep it brick, even if it has to be replaced.” He anticipates the bridge will be open in four years.

    David Anthony, 31, a photographer who lives on 170th Street, headed down to the locked gate yesterday to show a friend. The first time he climbed over was seven years ago.

    “I love to walk on it,” he said. “I’d be here all the time if it re-opened, though it might lose some of its appeal because it’s one of the last places where you can walk out over the river and you’re alone.”

    High who?

    Because the High Bridge has been closed so long, many people don’t know it exists, said David Rivel, executive director of the City Parks Foundation, which is working with the Parks Dept. “They say, ‘You mean the High Line?’” To get community input, the Parks Dept. is holding a “listening session” on June 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Highbridge Recreation Center, 2301 Amsterdam Ave.

    © 2007 Metro. All Rights Reserved.

  5. #20

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    NY Daily News
    October 16, 2007

    City's High Bridge to get makeover & reopen in 2011

    BY NADIA ZONIS


    The High Bridge spans the Harlem River.


    Workmen restore the High Bridge, a 159-year-old city and National Historic Landmark that was shut down 40 years ago.


    The Bridge connects Washington Heights to Highbridge.

    Lourdes Hernández Cordero works just blocks from Highbridge Park in Washington Heights, but never noticed the long-shuttered elegant 19th-century pedestrian bridge that gave the park its name.

    When the Columbia University researcher first stumbled onto the High Bridge - which starts in the park and spans the Harlem River, connecting Washington Heights to the Bronx's Highbridge neighborhood - she was stunned.

    "It was like bumping into a treasure hidden in a big chest and dusting it off and saying, 'Oh my God. I have to put this in a place of honor,'" she said.

    She's not the only one who feels that way about the 159-year-old span, which is both a city landmark and a National Historic Landmark.

    In 2001, 48 city agencies and nonprofit groups formed a coalition to lobby for the reopening of the High Bridge, whose graceful stone arches support a walkway that rises 116 feet over the river.

    This spring, Mayor Bloomberg included the High Bridge in his PlaNYC, and pledged $64 million to get it back into shape. The bridge is expected to reopen in 2011 - more than 40 years after it closed.

    The High Bridge once was a key link in the city's old aqueduct system and played an important role in the life of the neighborhoods on both ends.

    "A lot of people still talk about their links to friends and family on the other side," said Amy Gavaris, executive vice president of the New York Restoration Project.

    "It matters to people in these communities that they were cut off from one another," added Gavaris, whose group was founded by entertainer Bette Midler and has done extensive restoration work in Highbridge Park.

    The bridge's closing coincided with the slide of surrounding areas into dangerous, crime-ridden districts. The 116-acre Highbridge Park became a spot for drug dealing and stashing stolen cars.

    "In 1997, when our crews first went in, the vegetation was so thick that the only way you could tell there were paths in there was because the lampposts were poking out of the vines," said Gavaris.

    Now, there is hope the park and the bridge will support one another's rebirth. The bridge also will make it easier for Bronx residents to get to the park's huge pool and recreation center.

    "If the bridge were open, there would be a reason to go through the park," said Gavaris.

    The reopened High Bridge also will form a key link between the Bronx and Manhattan segments of the city's greenway, a citywide system of pathways for bike riders and pedestrians.

    Work on the bridge - which will include the addition of access paths, ramps, signs and fences, as well as repair of the bridge's patterned brick walkway and stone arches - is expected to begin in 2009.

    Hernández-Cordero is thrilled that the High Bridge is coming back. A group she founded to create a walking trail throughout the parks of upper Manhattan - City Life is Moving Bodies (C.L.I.M.B.) - has been part of the coalition pushing for the span's restoration.

    She looks forward to the day when the bridge will be part of her group's network of walking trails.

    "We are working on the side of community engagement," she said. "We want to ensure that people will love and take care of it and use it."

    © Copyright 2007 NYDailyNews.com

  6. #21

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    Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

    Peering up the winding iron staircase in the water tower at Highbridge Park in Washington Heights. The tower was built in 1872 as part of the Croton Aqueduct system, which had started bringing a dependable supply of fresh water into New York City in 1842, and it remained in use as a pumping station until 1949.

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company.

  7. #22

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    New York Sun

    Bloomberg Unveils Restored Path to Historic Bridge

    By Special to the Sun | August 27, 2008

    A $60 million plan to reopen the city's oldest bridge moved closer to reality yesterday as Mayor Bloomberg unveiled a newly restored $4.2 million access path leading to Washington Heights's historic High Bridge.

    At a press conference at Highbridge Park in Manhattan, Mr. Bloomberg said the park was at "the beginning of a new era" after years of neglect.

    An Assembly member, Adriano Espaillat, whose district includes the park, said that the now-pristine area was once a "homeless city," overrun with squatters and filled with trash and abandoned cars.

    Work on the High Bridge, which was built in 1848 and has been closed down since the 1970s, is slated to begin next spring.

    Renovations on the bridge are expected to be completed in 2012 and will include restoring and reinforcing its stone structure, repairing its walkway, and adding a safety fence.

  8. #23
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Great news -- that whole stretch of parkway above the river there is a gem,
    and well worth the trip for those in need of an adventure.

  9. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYC4Life View Post
    ... adding a safety fence.
    Is that to keep folks from dropping cinder blocks on passing cars?

  10. #25
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
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    Yeah, 'cause everyone knows that here folks toss cinder blocks at passing cars all the time if they have the chance.

  11. #26

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    ^ I guess I got it confused with England. Grist for Gregory's mill: http://www.northantset.co.uk/news/An...ick.4412898.jp

  12. #27

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    Harlem Hybrid

    A photoblog of Harlem, New York

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Green Harlem--The Highbridge Edition

    Aside from the great people and architecture, another reason why I love Harlem is the abundance of under-utilized green space. Boasting at least 7 large Parks, Harlem forms an integral part of the Emerald Highway for migrating birds. Combined with the sparse use, these areas lend themselves to a complete "Natural Immersion" which I find necessary to balance out the otherwise frenetic and crowded feel of downtown. One of my favorite Parks which embodies these ideals is Highbridge Park, and on Sunday, I got a chance to go up in the iconic Watertower for the first time. (I did once get to crawl inside the watertunnel--will dig out those pix later). Without further ado, Highbridge Park!



    More photographs HERE

    http://harlemhybrid.blogspot.com/200...e-edition.html

  13. #28

    Default More Highbridge pix

    Thanks for the link to my bloggy: http://harlemhybrid.blogspot.com

    I just posted some more pix out over the Harlem River and inside the water tunnel. I hope you like.

    Regards,

    Yojimbot

  14. #29

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    Welcome to Wired New York yojimbot.

    I look forward to viewing your new photo's

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