West Street pedestrian bridges
Coordinates: The West Street pedestrian bridges cross the West Side Highway to connect Tribeca and the Financial District of Lower Manhattan with Battery Park City. The bridges were built to allow for alternatives to crossing the busy street. Prior to the September 11th attacks, there were a total of three bridges at these locations: Chambers Street, Vesey Street and Liberty Street. The Vesey Street and Liberty Street bridges connected the former World Trade Center complex directly to the World Financial Center.
The collapse of the Twin Towers destroyed the Vesey Street bridge and heavily damaged the Liberty Street bridge. To improve pedestrian flow, a new bridge was built at Rector Street. Originally it was planned to be temporary, so that a new bridge further south could be built, it has now become permanent. A temporary bridge at Vesey Street opened in November 2003 near the site of its predecessor. Currently, all bridges have ADA access. (The elevator and escalator on the east side of the Vesey Street bridge have been inoperable for an extended period of time. Individuals who are unable to climb stairs must cross at Murray Street, which is north of Vesey Street.)
The Chambers Street Bridge ( ) or the Tribeca Bridge was built in 1994 to improve connections for the northern part of Battery Park City. It connects the Stuyvesant High School inside Battery Park City and the property of the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Although an exit to the street level on the Battery Park City side of the span exists, the bridge connects directly into the Stuyvesant High School, making it a favorable point of access for many of the students there. Designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill, its lighting display at night has earned it the 1996 IES/NY Lumen Lighting Award.
Vesey Street Bridge
The first Vesey Street Bridge (World Trade Center complex with the World Financial Center, paralleling nearby Vesey Street. It began at a point between 1 WTC and 6 WTC linking the upper levels of the Winter Garden Atrium. The grand marble staircase inside the Winter Garden pavilion provided access to the lower levels of the building and to the adjacent waterfront. The bridge was destroyed in the collapse of 1 WTC during the September 11th attacks.), or North Bridge connected the above-ground concourse of the former
The current Vesey Street Bridge has been envisioned to be a temporary crossing as the intersection of Vesey Street and West Street was closed to pedestrians since the September 11th attacks. It currently connects the southwest corner of Vesey Street and West Street, next to 3 WFC, with the northeast corner, next to 140 West Street (Verizon Building). Ground was broken in August 2003 by then-Governor George E. Pataki and opened on November 2003 in time for the return of the PATH train to the temporary terminal by the WTC site. Eventually it was supposed to be replaced by an underground passageway connecting the World Trade Center Transportation Hub with the World Financial Center. The World Financial Center would then connect to the Fulton Center via the Dey Street Passageway. However due to construction delays, the bridge is still in operation until the opening of the pedestrian tunnel in 2013 or 2014.
The Vesey Street bridge was designed with ADA accessibility in mind, and escalators have been installed to allow pedestrians access the bridge without using stairs. The escalator by the World Financial Center, at the western end, opened on April 16th 2004. They were followed by the escalator on the eastern side in June 2004. The elevators at either end opened in the same summer. The elevators and escalators were prone to problems, and an escalator was closed for six months due to a failure. The bridge was met criticism for the breakdowns and also bridge closures due to construction activity at the 1 WTC construction site. Thus residents from the Battery Park City area have been clamoring for the reopening of the Vesey Street walkways across West Street, as an alternative to the bridge. (The elevator and escalator on the east side of the Vesey Street bridge have been inoperable for an extended period of time. Individuals who are unable to climb stairs must cross at Murray Street, which is north of Vesey Street.)
Liberty Street Bridge
The original incarnation of the Liberty Street Bridge( Since then, the bridge has been revamped and rerouted, due to its location near the World Trade Center site and the construction activity for the Vehicle Security Center and the demolition of the Deutsche Bank Building at 130 Liberty Street. On April 21st, 2010, the eastern bridge access point was shifted onto the east side of West Street, from Liberty Street. A pre-fabricated segment was attached to the existing bridge, for use while construction proceeds on both sides along Liberty Street. The new pre-fabricated southward extension was fitted with an elevator for ADA accessibility.), was called the South Bridge, as it was seen as a companion to its Vesey Street counterpart and had a similar design. Due to the attacks, it had sustained significant damage. However, unlike its counterpart, it was extended and repaired and was reopened in April 2002.
Rector Street Bridge
With the destruction of the North Bridge and the closure of the South Bridge due to the terrorist attacks, Battery Park City residents sought for safe passage across West Street in the immediate months following September 11th, 2001. The Rector Street Bridge ( ) was seen as a temporary solution, as it was planned that a bridge further south would open in its place in the near future. The bridge was designed by SHoP Architects and opened in August 2002. The bridge has a span of 230 feet (70 m), with a 170 feet (52 m) ramp on the western end of the bridge.. Much of the bridge was built from pre-fabricated materials, the design of the bridge was a steel box truss system. The panels surrounding the bridge allow natural light to flow through, but it limits the view to disallow people from using it to view the World Trade Center site. In 2006, the New York State Department of Transportation released its proposal to reconstruct West Street into a promenade. The plans do not feature a permanent replacement, suggesting that the first Rector Street Bridge may be permanent. However a renovation was planned then, to keep the bridge in place for another ten years.
Billed by SHoP Architects as "Rector Street Bridge #2", this structure was in fact the renovated version of the bridge. The renovated structure had the truss system replaced by a canopy, that would allow views. However during its immediate opening in October 9th 2009, the elevators were unusable, drawing some outrage from Battery Park City residents. Although designs have been submitted for a permanent bridge at West Thames Street, near the entrance of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, it is unsure if the renovated Rector Street Bridge would be demolished in lieu for this bridge. As no timeline has been provided yet, it is also unclear when the West Thames Street Bridge will be opened.
- West Street (Manhattan)
- World Trade Center
- World Financial Center
- Battery Park City
- Stuyvesant High School
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