Hamilton Heights Pedestrian Bridge Open At Last After Hardships

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A troubled bridge across a major highway is finally open after being delayed by faulty concrete, and construction work caused flooding that frustrated commuters.

As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported, the near-constant roar of traffic is no longer punctuated by the noisy construction on the new pedestrian and bicycle bridge at 151st Street in Hamilton Heights.

“For the last year and a half at 5 o’clock in the morning, I’ve been hearing you know the ‘Uggggh! Uggggh!’ and and then the machine goes ‘Whurrrr!’” said Jamie Pesavento of Hamilton Heights.

Hamilton and Washington Heights residents say the construction noise is worth it. The new bridge linking Upper Manhattan to Riverside Park has won rave reviews for providing an easy route across the Henry Hudson Parkway.

“It’s more convenient. It’s nice. You don’t have to go down and underneath into that tunnel, you don’t go to go to 145th or further,” said Damien Douglas of Hamilton Heights. “You get right into the park and right out.”

“It’s absolutely beautiful,” added Ryan Aziz of Washington Heights. “I can’t wait to keep coming here.”

For a time, the bridge seemed like a blight. The first pour of concrete was no good and had to be torn down.

Then, concrete supports interfered with parkway drains, causing major flooding.

But the completed project is a pedestrian and bike-friendly success – complete with a platform that provides a stunning view of the George Washington Bridge. The platform is already a hot spot for selfies.

“Beautiful view. It’s family oriented,” said Jeff Wortham of Hamilton Heights. “The neighbors are going to love it.”

The structure was christened this week with a brand new name – the Assemblyman Herman Denny Farrell Pedestrian Bridge. It is part of an even larger New York bridge story.

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