The recently demolished Squibb Park Bridge (pictured) was made black locust. A steel/wood hybrid replacement is in the works.
BROOKLYN - After a series of closures, a wooden bridge in Brooklyn has permanently shut down after it wouldn't stop swaying and bouncing. A new steel bridge is in the works.
In March of 2013, the $4 million Squibb Park Bridge opened in Brooklyn, serving as a connection between Brooklyn Bridge Park and Squibb Park, a small rectangle below Brooklyn Heights overlooking the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The bridge - made of black locust wood - was plagued with issues almost immediately after it opened.
"What a disaster," former state senator and park board member Martin Connor told the New York Times. "The original price is obviously money down the drain. In the context of how big this park is and how much it cost to build, yeah, it’s a loss, but things happen."
Engineered by Ted Zoli of HNTB, the bridge was intentionally made to be slightly bouncy. But over the years, the bounce became more pronounced and the bridge began to mve in unexpected ways, writes the Times.
The bridge was closed for repairs in early 2014. It didn't open again until April 2017 and cost around $3 million to fix. In that period, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation (BBPC) filed a lawsuit against the engineering firm - calling the design flawed and poorly executed. That was privately settled with no admission of fault. But more than $7 million was wasted.
It then closed again last August, never to reopen. The BBP recently demolished the bridge and plans are in place for a totally new bridge.
A rendering of the upcoming bridge
British engineering firm Arup has been selected for the new design and its renderings show its trusses will be made of metal and the pathway itself from wood. The 450-foot-long structure will utilize the former bridge's existing support structures, writes Curbed. The new bridge will cost $6.5 million. That's not counting building and repair costs of the original.
The new bridge should open next summer.

As envisioned by Arup, the new 450-foot pathway will be able to utilize the existing support structures for the old bridge, which hovers over Furman Street. But the new span will be prefabricated offsite and plopped into place. While the trusses that support the bridge will be made of metal, the pathway itself will still be composed from wood, though BBPC has yet to determine the specific material.

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