By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A newly-opened wooden “trail bridge,” zig-zagging dramatically downward from Squibb Park in Brooklyn Heights to Brooklyn Bridge Park, captivated those who ventured onto it at lunchtime Friday.
“I love it!” said Lee Hunter, visiting the park with his mother-in-law, who lives in the Heights. “It’s beautiful, and I’m amused by the bounce. I trust the engineering,” he added.
“So awesome,” said a mother who was running after her young child into the re-opened Squibb Park.
“It looks nice,” said another man, driven back into Squibb Park by Friday’s chill.
The bridge was built out of “nearly indestructible” black locust timber with bronze and galvanized steel connections and lighted railings, at a cost of $5 million. Its slight bounce is part of the design.
“The Squibb Park Bridge design makes use of trail bridge technology,” a sign at the bridge’s entrance explains. “It is built with cable and wood, much like hundreds of trail bridges in our state and national parks. Since it is designed to be lightweight and flexible, the bridge will bounce as you walk over it.”
“Early reports are that Squibb Bridge is meeting visitors' expectations as a more direct, interesting, fun -- and beautiful -- way to enter Brooklyn Bridge Park,” Nancy Webster, Executive Director at Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy told the Brooklyn Eagle via email on Friday.
The (ADA accessible) bridge is not far from another park entrance at Old Fulton Street, about a sixth of a mile north. But it offers a more direct connection from Brooklyn Heights and a safer entrance for youngsters than Old Fulton Street, with its crush of BQE traffic and tour buses.
Landscape design in this part of the park will include a variety of trees, shrubs and groundcover, including switchgrass, black-eyed Susans, wild bergamot, red sprite winterberry and yellow buckeye.
Squibb Park has been upgraded as well. The original entrance ramp has been re-graded in order to enable ADA access, and newly installed lighting around the perimeter of the park allows the park to restore evening hours.
The bridge project is the result of a collaborative effort between HNTB Corporation, the NYC Parks Department, Brooklyn Bridge Park and numerous community groups.