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Press Release

NYCEDC To Install Brand New Pedestrian Bridge on West Thames Street in Lower Manhattan

May 29 2019
NYCEDC To Install Brand New Pedestrian Bridge on West Thames Street in Lower Manhattan

New Span Will Replace the Rector Street Bridge and Improve Connectivity Between Battery Park City and the Financial District

New Bridge Will Be Named in Honor of Robert R. Douglass, a Long-Time Advocate of Lower Manhattan’s Recovery After 9/11

NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced upcoming installation plans of the West Thames Street Pedestrian Bridge. After traveling by barge from Red Hook, Brooklyn to Battery Park City, the 230-foot bridge is comprised of two spans and will be set in place over West Street this spring and open to the public this fall following engineering testing and inspections.

The new bridge will provide a direct connection between Battery Park City and the Financial District and will permanently replace the Rector Street Pedestrian Bridge near the World Trade Center. The span will cross the six-lane West Street and Hudson River Greenway from near West Thames Street to near Joseph P. Ward Street and is designed to last 75 years. The $45 million project, is being funded predominantly by a $33 million grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Empire State Development funded through Community Development Block Grants from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, with a portion of the funding from the Battery Park City Authority.

Please find photos and videos of the installation by clicking here.

“The West Thames Street Pedestrian Bridge is a welcome addition to New York City’s landscape and will improve connectivity between the Financial District and Battery Park City,” said James Patchett, President and CEO of NYCEDC. “The bridge will help support Lower Manhattan’s economic vitality and enhance the community fabric.”

“This bridge will permanently restore a much-needed link between the Financial District and Battery Park City – connecting New Yorkers with public transit on one side and the Hudson River waterfront on the other,” Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said. “With this project, we are one step closer to completing the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan.”

“We thank New Yorkers for their input and patience while the NYCEDC and Skanska worked to create a safe structure that respectfully complements the historic World Trade Center site,” said Daniel Ciniello, Acting President of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. “This pedestrian bridge will improve access for residents in Battery Park City and tourists alike.”

“We look forward to NYCEDC’s successful installation of the West Thames Street Pedestrian Bridge,” said Battery Park City Authority President & CEO B.J. Jones. “Having safe pedestrian passage for our residents and neighbors is important for this downtown community that is more connected than ever before.”

"Everyone in Lower Manhattan is looking forward to the completion of this bridge. This is one of the many physical milestones that will continue to illustrate our neighborhood's recovery," said Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York. "It's been proposed that the bridge will soon be renamed in honor of Alliance founding chairman Robert R. Douglass, and as Bob did for decades, we look forward to this bridge playing a major role in connecting and uniting the Lower Manhattan community."

The bridge will permanently replace the Rector Street Pedestrian Bridge near the World Trade Center. The Rector Street Bridge, originally built as a temporary structure following the attacks on September 11, 2001, will be demolished once the West Thames Street Pedestrian Bridge is fully operational.

“New York City’s neighborhoods are defined by their vibrancy and connectivity to one another,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “The new West Thames Street pedestrian bridge will help link the Financial District and Battery Park City, bridging the gap between the City’s economic epicenter and one of its newest communities. Congratulations to the Battery Park City Authority, NYCEDC and the State for their work on this iconic addition to the Lower Manhattan community."

“As the Council Member representing Battery Park City, I understand the transportation challenges this area faces,” said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. “The West Thames Street Pedestrian Bridge will allow those who work and live near Wall Street and the Financial District to easily access Battery Park City greatly improving the economic vitality of Lower Manhattan. I want to thank the New York City Economic Development Corporation for their leadership on this project.”

“Manhattan Community Board 1 is gratified that the long-awaited, permanent West Thames Bridge will become a reality serving workers, visitors and families in Lower Manhattan,” said Anthony Notaro, Jr., Chairman of Manhattan Community Board 1. “Our community deserves this vital connection and its design enhances its value.”

Designed by New York City-based structural engineer Thornton Tomassetti and the WXY architecture + urban design firm the new bridge presents a modern infrastructure design for the Financial District and Battery Park City. Constructed by Skanska, the steel lenticular truss bridge has been designed to maximize views of the World Trade Center and the Lower Manhattan skyline while improving functional access to these bustling neighborhoods for millions of residents and visitors every year. The design also allowed for the structure to be assembled offsite in Red Hook to minimize construction impacts to the local community.

“The bridge is designed to maximize daylight and views, reduce maintenance, and offer a safe and enjoyable crossing both in the daytime and during evening hours,” says Claire Weisz, FAIA, founding principal of WXY architecture + urban design. “The landings are oriented to minimize impacts to the landscaped public spaces at West Street and West Thames Street.”

“Skanska took great care in ensuring that residents and visitors can safely use this bridge for decades to come,” said Jeff Rosser, Vice President at Skanska USA. “With unobstructed views of lower Manhattan and a pedestrian-friendly design, we hope our neighbors are pleased with the end result.”

“This distinctive pedestrian bridge design is the first of its type in New York City,” said Courtney Clark, Vice President of Thornton Tomasetti. “Working closely with the rest of the project team, we were able to engineer the bridge to be light enough to be preassembled and lifted in place, thereby minimizing disruption to the surrounding vehicular and pedestrian traffic.”

Prior to 9/11, there were three pedestrian bridges that spanned across West Street in Lower Manhattan which were located at Liberty Street, Vesey Street and Chambers Street. The attacks destroyed the bridge at Vesey Street and significantly damaged the bridge at Liberty Street, leaving only the northernmost bridge at Chambers Street, known as the Tribeca Bridge, open for use.

As a result, two temporary bridges were constructed to restore grade-separated access to Battery Park City – one at Vesey Street and a second between Rector and Carlisle Streets, known as the Rector Street Bridge. Since that time, the pedestrian concourse under West Street has been completed, allowing the temporary bridge at Vesey Street to be deconstructed and removed.

New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

About BPCA
About BPCA: Established in May 1968, The Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority is a New York State Public Benefit Corporation charged with developing and maintaining a well-balanced community on the Lower West Side of Manhattan. Battery Park City’s 92-acre site has achieved worldwide acclaim as a model for community renewal in planning, creating, and maintaining a balance of commercial, residential, retail and park space. By pioneering development through ground leases and bonding authority with public/private partnerships between the BPCA and private developers, this planned community has become a blueprint for successful urban development. For more info visit:

About Skanska
Skanska is one of the world’s leading construction and development companies. In the U.S., Skanska’s core operations include building construction, civil infrastructure and developing self-financed commercial properties, which together generated $8 billion in revenue in 2018. As a developer in the U.S., Skanska has invested a total of $2.3 billion in commercial and multi-family projects. With U.S. headquarters in New York City, Skanska has offices in 28 metro areas with 9,000 employees nationwide. Skanska is an industry-leading innovator in both safety and project execution, and offers competitive solutions for both traditional and complex assignments to help build a more sustainable future for our customers and communities. Global revenue of parent company Skanska AB, headquartered in Stockholm and listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, totaled approximately $20 billion in 2018.

About WXY architecture + urban design
WXY is an award-winning, multidisciplinary practice specializing in the realization of urban design, planning and architectural solutions in challenging contexts. Focused on innovative approaches to public space, structures and urban issues, the firm’s work engages both site-specific design and planning at multiple scales. The firm’s commissions are in collaboration with community-based, public authority, and private clients.