NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – After two years and $17 million in repairs and improvements, the 103rd Street footbridge to Wards Island in the East River reopened on Friday, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb On The Story

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“We replaced the deck span. We added new pedestrian fencing, new guard rails,  new electrical system, and 25 sleek new lights which improve the lighting and security,” Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan told reporters. “Wards Island has been a great backyard for thousands of New Yorkers, who live just a few thousand feet from here. But up until now, it’s been very difficult to access.”

103rd Street Footbridge - Jun 1, 2012 (credit: Rich Lamb / WCBS 880)

103rd Street Footbridge – Jun 1, 2012 (credit: Rich Lamb / WCBS 880)

She said there were also steel repairs along the length of the more than 1,200-foot-long blue and gray span, which allows access from eastern Manhattan by foot, bicycle, skateboard, stroller, and wheelchair to 480 acres of park space.

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That includes 60 state-of-the-art ballfields.

The bridge will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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Have you been to Wards Island? What’s your favorite thing to do there? Sound off in the comments section below.