Hamilton Heights Bike, Pedestrian Bridge Delayed

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It is a mystery construction project – just what are they building along the Henry Hudson Parkway in Hamilton Heights?

As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported, thousands of drivers on the Henry Hudson pass the construction site every day, but they may not know what it is.

It turns out it is the base for a modern bike and pedestrian bridge that will link Hamilton Heights at 151st Street directly to Riverside Park.

The park, neighbors say, is a perfect spot to destress.

“I can literally go sit on the rocks and practically touch the Hudson,” said Christine Penney of East Harlem.

The view is great from up on Riverside Drive, but Nick Di Leonardi said it is not easy to get down to the park.

“Walk down to 145th by the playground, then I go down the stairs, then I go over this little bridge, then I go down another set of stairs, then I go through this like half-tunnel thing, and then I cut through the playground, and then finally I’m at the water,” said Nick DiLeonardi of Hamilton Heights.

Ruben Santana said he has even seen people try to dodge traffic on foot.

“He ran across, and I was really shocked,” said Santana, of West Harlem. “I can’t believe that somebody would actually do that.”

While most people welcome the $24 million dollar project, the state Department of Transportation confirmed there are problems with the concrete. Less than a year into construction, the contractor already has to make major repairs and pay for them.

Cracks can be seen in the concrete and exposed rebar. The new bridge was scheduled to open in December, but it is now delayed till next spring.

“I mean, come on, let’s get this over with and get it done, because I’m kind of sick and tired of having to go all the way around to get down here right now,” Penney said.

For now, people are advised not to cross through traffic.

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