It was supposed to be a mini modern marvel: an innovative zigzagging, bouncing wooden bridge spanning the BQE to connect Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Bridge Park. But less than two years after opening, the Squibb Park Bridge was abruptly closed because of structural instability. And it’s still closed.
Today, Brooklyn Bridge Park revealed that it is now suing the creators of the ultra-bouncy bridge — engineering firm HNTB, who are also building the new Kosciuszko Bridge — for $6 million over what it says is a faulty design.
Almost as soon as the Squibb Bridge opened, walkers commented on its unsettling bounce. But the bridge was supposed to be bouncy — the bounce was a deliberate part of the structural design, creator Ted Zoli of HNTB told us in 2012.
That’s the problem, according to the lawsuit. The bridge’s constant movement began to warp the wooden walkway, and so it was closed to adjust the tension of the suspension cables.
Then the bridge missed re-opening date after re-opening date.
According to the lawsuit:
“The Bridge design was defective. The Bridge was unstable and became deformed. The defective design of the Bridge endangered the public.”
So the bridge is going to open soon? Don’t bet on it.
Arup Group, a well-known engineering firm, needs another six months to create new plans for the bridge — possibly even plans for an entirely new bridge. Then those plans need to be approved by the board of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Only then can repair work be done.
As for the $6 million figure, it’s more than the cost of the initial $5 million taxpayer-funded structure and the half a million dollars needed for new, necessary repairs.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation is no stranger to lawsuits — a number have been filed against them in opposition to residential development in or near the park. This is the first we’ve heard of the BBP suing someone else.
[Source: Brooklyn Paper]