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Residents Call On DEP To Build Van Cortlandt Park Pedestrian Bridge

Van Cortlandt Park (Photo courtesy NYC Department of Parks & Recreation)

Van Cortlandt Park (Photo courtesy NYC Department of Parks & Recreation)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Some residents in the Bronx are calling on the Department of Environmental Protection to hold up its end of the deal in bridging together Van Cortlandt Park, literally.

According to Christina Taylor, executive director of Friends of Van Cortlandt Park, the DEP was allotted more than 40 acres of park land and in return the department said it would consider building a pedestrian bridge over the Major Deegan expressway, which separates Van Cortlandt Park.

Taylor said the DEP then reneged on the promise, 1010 WINS reported.

“The ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) made in 1990 stated that it’s feasible the DEP would provide funding. It took us 10 years to finally get them to do a feasibility study. In 2009 they hired engineers who did the study. Those engineers came back and said it’s legal to do it. The DEP then responded and said ‘well it’s not feasible because we don’t want to spend the money on it,” Taylor said.

Taylor told 1010 WINS the use of the word “feasible” has created some serious problems.

“That’s kind of a vague word so, the study said its feasible, but they’re coming back and saying it’s not feasible, we don’t have the money. Meanwhile, the filtration plant was supposed to only cost $1 billion and now it’s over $3 billion project. So we’re feeling if they found a way to find an extra $2 billion for the filtration plant, why can’t they find a few million dollars to build our bridge,” she said.

According to Taylor, Van Cortlandt Park has over 20 miles of hiking trails for residents to enjoy, but they’re segmented by three highways, which limit the size of trails.

The pedestrian bridge would open up more opportunities for residents to enjoy the expanse of the park.

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