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Thread: New City Island Bridge

  1. #1

    Default New City Island Bridge

    August 20, 2003


    Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced plans for a new state-of-the art bridge to replace the more than 100-year old bridge that connects City Island to the rest of the Bronx. *On a tour of the promenade on City Island, the Mayor announced an ambitious project designed to benefit the residents and businesses of the island community. *The City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) will build a new, mast-type Cable Stayed Bridge with a single tower founded on the mainland side. *The new Bridge will carry one lane of traffic in each direction as well as one emergency lane in each direction.

    “City Island deserves a bridge as unique as the island itself,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The plans for the new structure are truly striking and while I understand the sentimental value that the old bridge has for some members of this community, it was over 100 years old and in need of repair.”

    This bridge will be built at the same footprint of the old bridge. *A temporary vehicular bridge will be constructed on the south side of the existing bridge to provide vehicular and pedestrian access to and from City Island during construction of the new bridge. Preliminary design on the new Bridge began this month and the final design is expect in August 2004. *Construction will begin as soon as possible; DOT estimates the capital construction costs to be $32 million.

  2. #2


    It seems no new bridge for now. The picture of City Island Bridge taken today.

  3. #3
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    East Midtown


    I have never been to City Island. Is it worth a subway and bus ride? ( I don't have a car).
    I wonder if there is a walkable pedestrian area or is it just a bunch of spaced out houses. I thought it might make a nice summer day trip. I have not had luck finding good pictures.

  4. #4


    ^ As dense as it gets:

    The name leads you to expect more. Property owners want to keep it permanently somnolent.

  5. #5


    Density per square mile:

    Chicago - 12,470
    Boston - 12,160
    City Island - 11,400

  6. #6


    City Island is absolutely worth the trip. A slice of New England in the Bronx. Great seafood places too. though tad overpriced.

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    Density per square mile:

    Chicago - 12,470
    Boston - 12,160
    City Island - 11,400
    New York City - 27,147
    Manhattan - 69,873
    Union City - 52,978

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by MidtownGuy View Post
    I have never been to City Island. Is it worth a subway and bus ride? ( I don't have a car).
    I wonder if there is a walkable pedestrian area or is it just a bunch of spaced out houses. I thought it might make a nice summer day trip. I have not had luck finding good pictures.

    It's worth the trip...very suburban with great views of Long Island sound, and other nearby islands such as Hart Island, but of course, not directly accessible by subway. Nearest subway stop is "Pelham Bay Park" on the 6 train. You can get there by bus on the BX 29 which is about a block from the Pelham Bay Park stop on the 6 train. The bus route takes you down the whole island via City Island Avenue. Besides the many seafood restaurants such as Seafood City, Lobster Box, and Sammy's Fishbox, expect to also fine some boutiques.
    Last edited by NYC4Life; June 14th, 2008 at 03:13 AM. Reason: added some restaurants

  9. #9
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Jersey City


    Nice a friend of mine was thinking of moving there and his new wife loved it. But it never materialized. I went out to check out the house with him, I loved it very nice place.

  10. #10
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    City makes it official: California-based Tutor Perini will build futuristic $102M bridge to City Island

    Residents say it looks like a giant Honda logo. But the cable-stayed bridge will be the first of its kind in the state.

    By Denis Slattery

    In 2009, this was how planners imagined the bridge. The current design is similar.

    The city has picked a California company to build a controversial new $102 million bridge to link City Island to the mainland.

    Tutor Perini will replace the antiquated span with a futuristic cable-stayed bridge that many residents say is out of context with the island's rustic charm.

    "It's not just a design issue, it will change the character City Island," said Barbara Dolensek, vice president of the City Island Civic Association, citing not only the modern look, but the extra lane of traffic the bridge will carry in each direction. “The residents have been ignored from the beginning of this process.”

    The new bridge, crowned by an off-center 180-foot high H-shaped tower, has been compared to a giant Honda logo.

    "They tried to say it looks like a sailboat, which is absurd," added Dolensek.

    The structure would dwarf the one- and two-story Victorian homes, bait shacks and seafood restaurants on the island.

    Councilman James Vacca (D-City Island) and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. have both objected to the bridge project, demanding a formal land use review and public scrutiny.

    Schwartz, Michael
    The City Island Bridge (as seen from the mainland) will be replaced.

    But the bridge did not go through the Uniform Land-Use Review Process because it is merely replacing an existing bridge — the 17-foot-tall, 112-year-old metal swing bridge that currently connects City Island to the rest of the Bronx.

    A temporary three-lane bridge would be erected during construction.

    The $102.7 million price tag set by the firm was the lowest of 11 bids, according to the Department of Transportation. When completed, the new span would be the first major cable-stayed bridge in the state, according to a Tutor Perini spokesman.

    Dolensek believes the city just wants bridge bragging rights.

    "They simply decided that they were going to build this cable-stayed bridge and they have stuck with it," the 40-year resident said. "But we have to live with it, they don't."

    Cable-stayed bridges are similar to typical suspension bridges in that the weight of the roadway is borne by cables. But in the newfangled version, all the weight-bearing cables are anchored to the tower itself rather than hanging off a main cable.

    It’s not the first time Tutor Perini has been involved in New York bridge drama. Last month, the firm was blasted for outsourcing a $235 million MTA contract to work on the Verrazano Bridge to two Chinese steel companies.

    Construction of the City Island bridge would begin this fall, pending approval of the contract by Controller John Liu.

  11. #11


    Which bridge will be named after Giuliani? Which after Bloomberg?

    This country is weird because you can have both a pulse and a bridge at the same time.

  12. #12
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    City Island Looks Ahead to Crossing New Bridge

    Island Hamlet in the Bronx Gets City's Ear on Design

    By Kaya Laterman

    Restaurants, like City Island Diner, and fishing opportunities attract many visitors
    to City Island. Peter Foley for The Wall Street Journal

    Although City Island is a small hamlet in the Bronx known for its quaint, small-town feel, a battle between residents and the city's Department of Transportation had been anything but quiet.

    There were charged community board meetings, lobbying by local legislators and even a lawsuit to stop the DOT from spending $102.7 million to build a large cable-stayed bridge that would replace the current stone-and-steel structure crossing over Eastchester Bay.

    But all it took was a phone conversation to ease tensions that had built up over a decade.

    Vehicles drive over the City Island Road Bridge that is slated to be replaced by the city.
    Peter Foley for The Wall Street Journal

    A recent 15-minute phone call from DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg last month to Barbara Dolensek, a longtime City Island resident and community activist, helped change the situation.

    "The commissioner asked specific questions about what had happened and we discussed alternative bridge designs," said Ms. Dolensek, a member of the City Island Civic Association. "Although we'll wait and see what they come back with, this is the first time I feel sanguine with the DOT in a very long time."

    The DOT and the bridge contractor, Tutor Perini Corp., are back to the drawing board. The two groups will hold discussions in the coming weeks to review the design and determine any next steps, said DOT spokesman Nicholas Mosquera.

    Nobody has argued against replacing the 950-foot-long City Island Road Bridge, now more than 100 years old and in need of an upgrade to better handle the bottleneck traffic the island sees during the warm-weather months. Prime attractions for visitors to the island are its dozens of seafood restaurants and fishing opportunities.

    At issue in the bridge standoff has been the new structure's size. Previously, the DOT wanted to build the state's first cable-stayed bridge that was to be 164 feet high, compared with the current structure's 17-foot height. Residents argued the design was too grandiose, too expensive and didn't conform to the rustic feel of the island.

    The DOT plan also included improvements to be made to the City Island Esplanade and landscape improvements to Pelham Bay Park.

    "This might be the first time residents are asking the city to spend less money on them!" said Bronx City Councilman James Vacca, whose district includes City Island. "This can be a win-win, where the city saves money and residents get the bridge they want."

    Meanwhile, Queens Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley introduced a bill in March that would provide better access to nearby Hart Island, a 101-acre burial ground that the city uses for unidentified deceased. Ms. Crowley's bill would transfer the jurisdiction of Hart Island to the Department of Parks and Recreation from the city's Department of Correction, which has administered the cemetery for over a century, using inmates from Rikers Island for burial work. There are about one million bodies in the island's mass graves.

    Visitation to Hart Island has been limited, although that has eased somewhat recently, thanks to advocacy work by the Hart Island Project, a nonprofit group run by Melinda Hunt, an artist who first gained access to the island for a photography project.

    "This is a public cemetery for all boroughs," Ms. Hunt said. "Graves are part of the city's history so it should be preserved and managed as so."

    Dilapidated buildings on Hart Island seen from City Island.
    Peter Foley for The Wall Street Journal

    "While the cemetery on Hart Island lacks the infrastructure to safely accommodate large numbers of visitors or to allow them to wander about the grounds, we continue to explore ways to meet requests of relatives seeking greater access to honor those buried on the island," the DOC said a statement.

    For its part, the parks department isn't seeking jurisdiction since the island is an active burial site, said spokesman Nathan Arnosti.

    Financial constraints on the parks department and the need for a regular ferry service between City and Hart islands are also issues that need to be addressed, said Ms. Crowley.

    City Island residents generally support a ferry service, Ms. Dolensek said, thinking it could help pull in more year-round visitors, aiding the local economy. The civic association is also exploring options to use the many empty storefronts on City Island Avenue to be used as combined living-workspace as part of an artists' colony, she said.

  13. #13
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    PLAIN VANILLA BRIDGE: Controversial 160-foot-tall bridge may be scrapped, replaced with flat causeway-style bridge

    In surprise meeting Wednesday night, Department of Transportation tells City Island residents that H-shaped monstrosity could be off the table

    BY Denis Slattery

    Christie Johnston Crossing the bridge to City Island, Bronx. A 160-foot-tall bridge may be scrapped in favor of something much more "vanilla," said Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

    It’s a bridge over troubled water.

    After more than a decade of community opposition the city is reexamining plans to build a controversial 160-foot-tall bridge between City Island and the Bronx.

    In a surprise meeting Wednesday, Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg told a group of City Island residents and elected officials that the city will seek to build a flat causeway-style bridge — not the towering cable-stayed span that had previously been approved.

    “It’ll be not quite what you have, but a lot closer,” Trottenberg promised. “It will be nothing like a big cable-stayed bridge. It will be just a more modest, you know, kind of a plain vanilla bridge.”

    City Island residents and city officials have long agreed that the current 17-foot-tall, 112-year-old metal swing bridge that connects the island to the mainland Bronx must be replaced.

    It’ll be not quite what you have, but a lot closer,” Trottenberg promised. “It will be nothing like a big cable-stayed bridge. It will be just a more modest, you know, kind of a plain vanilla bridge.
    But the planned replacement pushed through under the Bloomberg administration, capped by an off-center 180-foot high H-shaped tower many compared to a giant Honda logo, angered island residents who felt the ultramodern design was not harmonious with the nautical island.

    The proposed structure would have dwarfed the waterside community’s quaint homes, seafood restaurants and art galleries, all subject to a 35-foot height requirement.

    “All of our protests just went completely unheard or rebuffed,” said City Island Civic Association vice-president Barbara Dolensek.

    During the drawn-out planning phase, started in 1998, the project’s cost ballooned from $32 million to more than $100 million.

    Courtesy of NYC DOT The conceptual design of the proposed City Island bridge, which may be scrapped.

    The city awarded the contract to Tutor Perini, a company that has been questioned for its history of low bids and cost overruns.

    But public outcry over the design and the contract fell on deaf ears during the Bloomberg administration, City Councilmember James Vacca said.

    “There was no opening for discussion,” Vacca said of former DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan.

    A lawsuit was filed by community members and State Senator Jeff Klein last fall successfully delayed construction on the project until a new commissioner could be appointed providing hope for island residents.

    Denis Slattery/New York Daily News The current 112-year-old City Island Bridge shows signs of rust and general wear and tear.

    “The mayor asked me to listen to the community and solve problems,” Trottenberg said. “We need to get this solved by the end of May. I’m hoping we can solve this one in a way that works for everybody.”

    Trottenberg, who grew up in nearby Pelham, admitted that altering a project so far along would be difficult and that the city would have to act fast to modify permits submitted to the Coast Guard and Department of Environmental Conservation.

    Plans must be drawn up before a City Planning Commission meeting scheduled for May 6, according to Councilman Vacca.

    City Islanders were optimistic after the sit down.

    “We’re really incredibly appreciative,” Dolensek said. “It’s been a long fight, but this is a huge step in the right direction.”

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