Park officials: Squibb Park Bridge closed due to dangerous bounciness

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It’s a troubled bridge.

The bouncy, $5 million footbridge that connects Brooklyn Heights to Brooklyn Bridge Park is closed till the spring because it has become dangerously springy, according to park officials. The pricey Squibb Park Bridge opened to great fanfare last year, running from Columbia Heights to Pier 1. Its novel design is supposed to mimic a hiking trail bridge, allowing for a slight bounce as pedestrians walk over it. But back on Aug. 11, park staffers decided that the give was becoming too much to safely take and abruptly barred the entrances to the span.

“Our staff reported unusual movement of the bridge, which we closed immediately,” said a spokeswoman for the park.

Park officials said the walkway will be out of commission through the winter so that engineers can double-check to ensure it is structurally sound.

“Following extensive surveying of Squibb Park Bridge, we have directed our engineers to conduct further study to ensure that the bridge is safe and secure,” the spokeswoman said. “As a result, we expect the bridge to remain closed until spring 2015.”

The greensward stewards don’t know what destabilized the bridge and have installed sensors to monitor its movements and hopefully make a diagnosis. They don’t think the problem has to do with the large construction sites on either side of the bridge’s base, where a residential building and a hotel are set to rise, the spokeswoman said.

The span zigzags down the five-story drop that separates the Heights from the park, traveling the length of one-and-a-half football fields. MacArthur Foundation “genius” Ted Zoli designed the bridge using black-locust wood and galvanized-steel cables. Back in 2012 he described the amount of give it was supposed to have this way:

“It’s going to bounce a little the way a trail bridge would if you ever went hiking in the Catskills,” he said.

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260–8310. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Moses Kestenbaum ODA from Williamsburg says:
Robert Moses built bridges and highways that last forever for a fraction of the cost, oh Robert wake up wake up We Need You.
Oct. 7, 2014, 7:49 pm
ty from pps says:
Hmm... perhaps we'd be better off if some (many) of the glorious Robert Moses's projects would have had a shorter lifespan.
Oct. 7, 2014, 9:58 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
$5,000,000. and an "engineer" can't figure out how to build a bridge that doesn't shake itself apart?

Who did that "engineer" study under? Leon Moisseiff?

Watch the cars in the streets kids while you make your way to the park.
Oct. 8, 2014, 6:55 am
Rosie Guardino from Red Hook says:
How are these 'staff' that reported it? I see some real slobs and idiots working Parks Dept-- not everyone but enough to make you wonder. Some of them are very reckless with their stupid little golf cars also; god forbid they WALK a little!

If the design is flawed so be it but I'm skeptical.

Or, if there is an issue, it probably ** is ** from the nearby construction and there's political pressure to cover it up.
Oct. 8, 2014, 7:07 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
The damage to this bridge was caused by the construction of the monstrosity next to it. The contractors and project owners are desperate to keep that quiet, but this bridge is NOT the victim of poor "bouncy" design, it is the victim of the land-grabbing construction next to it.
Oct. 9, 2014, 12:04 pm
Jake Roebling III from Gowanus says:
Ding ding ding-- Jim is 1000% correct. I run over the bridge 3-4 times a week, sometimes slowly if a lot of people & strollers etc and there's ZERO ISSUES with the bridge's construction. What nonsense.

The big question is why is Parks Department covering up the REAL culprit and why is (the fraud) DeBlasio and his mostly sub-competent minions following the same lies as Bloomturd?

Too bad the Brooklyn D.A. can't look into this, at least that's one politician who gets things DONE.
Oct. 9, 2014, 4:16 pm

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