Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Can Roosevelt Island Duplicate the Ward’s Island Foot Bridge?

Wards Island Bridge - Open

The answer whether Roosevelt Island can build a footbridge similar in features to the Ward’s Island Bridge is probably not. But the idea in concept would work. A foot bridge that would include a central section that would raise and lower to let passing vessels pass under it as they journey up and down the West Channel of the East River.

The concept is not new but the height required and cost would be prohibitive. There would also be all sorts of safety concerns and fears that if stuck in a closed position that river traffic would be obstructed.

But the idea is an interesting one and certainly one worth day dreaming about. It would be pretty cool to think of a bridge say across to Carl Shurz Park at 86th Street

For additional pictures of the Wards Island Bridge link HERE to the Bridge and Tunnel Club web page for the bridge. For additional pictures on Flickr link HERE.

[The above photo is from Flickr but I cannot find the citation at the moment].


  1. funny, while walking the dog i was looking at that bridge, and imagining it located just off main st, where it cuts over to coler. right out the octagon windows! :)

    sadly, it wouldn't work. you would need a lift span at least as wide as that of blackwell's bridge, since ocean-going traffic often fills the west channel from shore to shore. that makes it bigger and more expensive than the elegant lil ward's island bridge.

    there are all sorts of 'dreams' that islanders put forth to solve our woes - but there are only 2 with ANY hope of fruition: access to the qborough bridge from the tram area, and a ferry. and as long as rioc insists bruce becker pay for all ferry costs himself, the ferry is looking grim.

  2. I had been holding this post figuring to use it as filler but with the tram out and a few comments about bridge access I figured it might as well go live.

    Your points re the width of the span and the level of traffic in the channel are well taken. The width issue would also affect the integrity of the span if it followed the Ward's island design.

  3. This concept at least would remove the need for a bridge equal in height to the QB (although you would need supports that went plenty high)but the width issue is the killer as you point out.

  4. don't get me wrong; i'd love a ped bridge... but we are much less important to The Man than all the oil barges heading north. they will never be impeded for us.

  5. As you rightly point out, the river between Manhattan and Roosevelt Island is simply too wide for a pedestrian bridge.

    On another note, I don't mean to be pedantic, but the correct spelling is Carl Schurz Park, as you can see by clicking on the link in your article.

  6. There are 2 choices - a ferry or a footbridge. The reality of the situation is that is all there is.
    One has to happen.

    A footbridge could be a stacked Z shape to get the heighth and obviously there are more than enough places to dock a ferry on both sides....

    the question is, when are WE going to speak loud enough for one to happen? Who will take the ferry? Can it be profitable running only during rush hour? Could it also connect LIC?.....

    There IS a way to do this.... someone just has to fight city hall.... in the meantime, we can all expect to be left here for a whole weekend.