NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Coney Island has lost another landmark after an iconic pedestrian bridge was torn down overnight for safety reasons.
The bridge, which connected the West Eighth Street subway station to the New York Aquarium and boardwalk, had stood for 50 years, but fell into disrepair. Chipped paint and rust could be seen on a remaining section of the bridge Thursday morning.
“It was like the entrance,” Eliza Shulman, a Coney Island resident, told CBS 2’s Don Champion. “You could see everything. You could see all the way down that way — the boardwalk, the ocean, the baseball stadium, the aquarium. It was just really cool.”
Added Coney Island resident Alex Riveron: “Things get old. You’ve got to get rid of them sometimes. In this case,repair it or put up something new.”
Todd Dobrin, a former Community Board 13 member who is running for the City Council, fought for years to save the bridge. He said he is concerned that the demolition of the bridge will create a safety hazard because pedestrians will be forced to cross the busy Surf Avenue.
Crews are starting to install a pedestrian crossing light at the intersection, and plans are in place to create a new boardwalk entrance on West 10th Street.
In July, Coney Island’s iconic Astrotower was partially dismantled over fears that the 275-foot structure was unsafe.
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