BY COLIN MIXSON
Locals living and working around the entrance plaza of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel have to start looking for detours beginning July 24, when the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will begin replacing the 66-year-old Morris Street Pedestrian Bridge with something that isn’t on the verge of collapse.
The bridge, which connects Washington and Greenwich streets, first opened in 1951 and served as a much needed connection between the Financial District and Battery Park City, which had been separated during the tunnel’s more than decade-long construction.
The pedestrian span would go on to serve locals long past its prime, and a study in 2009 commissioned by the Department of Design and Construction gave the bridge a condition rating of 3.44 out of 7.
For perspective, a city official told members of Community Board 1 at the time that anything under three was “probably” unsafe.
The city did some work to shore up the ailing bridge in 2014, but the span remains in poor condition and the city ended up handing over jurisdiction of the Morris Street span to the MTA, which agreed to replace it.
The new bridge will sport illuminated handrails, but will not feature any support pilings leading down the tunnel entrance below, allowing for better traffic management, according to the MTA, which expects the new span to open by the end of the year.
In the meantime, locals looking to head east or west on Morris Street, your best bet is to head south on Greenwich or Washington streets and take Battery Place.