The infamously bouncy Squibb Bridge is no more.
Workers tore down the beleaguered span over this past weekend—finally putting an end to the problem-plagued structure. All that remains of the $4.1 million walkway are support pillars protruding into the air, but soon a newly-constructed zigzagging span will be installed between Brooklyn Bridge Park and the bridge’s namesake Squibb Park on Middagh Street in Brooklyn Heights.
Eric Landau, the president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, told Curbed previously that rebuilding the bridge, rather than replacing unstable portions piecemeal, is the best method to ensure the structure is safe.
“We feel really, really strongly that having a functional bridge that doesn’t call into question whether or not it’s going to be open is paramount,” Landau said at the time.
The new footbridge will be designed and constructed by Arup, and will essentially replicate the look of the old Squibb span to the tune of $6.5 million—this is in addition to the original $4 million to build the first bridge, and $3.4 million more to fix it.
Ted Zoli of HNT designed the original bridge, which opened to the public in 2013. But by 2014 it has closed for what was supposed to be a brief period of repairs. The bridge wound up staying closed until April 2017 and racked up a multi-million dollar repair price tag. In that three year span, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation filed a $3 million lawsuit against HNTB for poor execution of a flawed design. (The case was settled “with no admission of liability on either side,” according to Landau.)
The structure closed yet again last August, and had remained shuttered. The bridge was actually closed longer than it was open.
This time around, instead of using black locust to construct the walkway—a typically durable wood, but was beset with difficulties almost as soon as the bridge debuted nearly six years ago—the new span will be made of steel and aluminum.
The 450-foot path, which hovers over Furman Street, will utilize the existing support pillars from the old bridge and is currently being constructed off-site. It will be installed and open to the public by summer 2020, says Sarah Krauss, a spokesperson for Brooklyn Bridge Park.