Upper East Side residents can cross safely over the FDR Drive again, after the Department of Transportation opened the newly enhanced East 78th Street pedestrian bridge today.
The old bridge, which was built in the 1940s, was demolished last July due to the Department of Transport listing it’s condition as “poor” in its biennial inspection.
The renovation cost the Parks & Recreation Department a tidy $11.9 million to complete. In all, some $5 billion has been budgeted by the city in the last decade to restore bridges in various states of disrepair, such as the Brooklyn Bridge (not including the new park) and the Wards Island Bridge.
“We’re closing the gap between New Yorkers and the East River Esplanade,” DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said. “Creating safer access to the waterfront for generations to come.”
The new bridge is fully ADA compliant, with ramps both sides and will give weekend strollers a nice new vista of John Jay Park. The Department of Transport say it’s a “fresh design, that enchances the surrounding streetscape”, to us, it just looks like a 80 ton steel bridge. But, for $11 million, some ‘enhancing the streetscape’ won’t go amiss, what the heck.