New York City’s Oldest Bridge Opens Up Once Again

One of NYC’s most famous pieces of infrastructure and it’s oldest span, the High Bridge may have shaped the city’s history more than we can grasp. Running 1,200 feet across the Harlem River, the 116 foot high bridge started as an aqueduct and later became a stately pedestrian path connecting the Bronx to Manhattan. While the Roman-arch style structure has plenty of history to celebrate and offers remarkable views of Manhattan and the Bronx, the High Bridge spent fourteen long years closed off from the public.

With the rise of crime that came to area in the later 20th century, the gates of the bridge were welded shut and stayed that way until a resilient crusade to reopen the High Bridge started in 2001. The effort eventually evolved into a multimillion-dollar commitment to reopen the High Bridge for a new era.

Image Source: NY Daily News

Image Source: NY Daily News

A timeless span: Celebrating the reopening of New York’s historic High Bridge | NY Daily News

Under Mike Bloomberg and his Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, plans accelerated. With the commitment of $48 million in 2007, the heavy preservation work started. The $61.7 million endeavor was finalized under Mayor de Blasio.

This was no ordinary rehab. Masonry and steel had to be reviewed by scuba divers. All was solid. The old-timers knew their craft. The bridge was cleaned with care by the Department of Design and Construction under Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora for Parks Commissioner Mitch Silver.”

There will be much fanfare and pomp as the city celebrates the reopening of this historic bridge. Are you pleased to hear the High Bridge will be part of NYC’s future? Did you know it played such an important role in the metropolis’ past?