Quick, what’s the oldest bridge in New York City that connects two boroughs? Most people would say it’s Brooklyn Bridge, which was finished in 1883. Actually, there’s a bridge 200 blocks north of it that’s almost 40 years older.
The bridge is actually part of a park that is located way up on the upper west side (west 174th street). It has been sadly neglected for many years. The views from the bridge are spectacular. Here is an update.
The High Bridge will reopen it for pedestrians and bicyclists, while providing a crucial link between Manhattan and the Bronx over the Harlem River. It will allow Bronx residents to reach the Highbridge Pool and Recreation Center, and Manhattan residents to reach the Harlem River waterfront
The High Bridge is the oldest remaining bridge in New York City. The bridge spans the Harlem River, connecting the neighborhoods of Highbridge in the Bronx and Washington Heights in Manhattan.
First opened in 1848 as part of the Old Croton Aqueduct, the 1,200–foot–long, 116-foot-tall High Bridge walkway first brought fresh water to New York City from Westchester County and fueled the city’s northward expansion.
It was closed to regular public use around 1970. Planned improvements will make the bridge more accessible and safe. The rehabilitation will follow historic preservation principles to restore the architectural details of this landmarked structure for public enjoyment.
The High Bridge is actually two adjoining spans: one of structural steel, and another of masonry. Both will be cleaned and repaired; the steel span will be repainted and the masonry structure will be repointed and strengthened. Architectural lighting will be installed beneath both spans.
The brick paver walkway on top of the structure will be removed and reconditioned, new waterproofing and concrete will be installed, then the historic brickwork will be reinstalled. The aqueduct running beneath the structure will be repaired and stabilized. New lampposts and safety fencing will be installed and the original iron railing will be repaired. Barrier-free access ramps will be built on both sides of the bridge to allow access for the disabled. Three viewing platforms with bench seating will be installed along the length of the bridge.