To the editor,
The deconstruction of the temporary Rector Street Bridge-upsetting to some in the community-actually has many supporters, and certainly came as no surprise. Members of the community have been discussing the removal of the bridge for years at Community Board 1 meetings, which are open to all.
The removal of the bridge will allow cherished neighborhood amenities to expand, such as Liberty Community Gardens, the well-used basketball courts and the recreational lawn. We write from the community gardens, which will gain 30% more area and allow many families, some of whom have been waiting years, to finally get a garden plot.
The Rector Street Bridge was erected in haste after 9/11 to provide access to Battery Park City at a time when West Street being reconstructed, the pedestrian bridge at Liberty Street was closed, and access to the neighborhood was very limited. The bridge was designed to be temporary. Siting a new permanent bridge took years. When ground was broken for the West Thames Bridge in 2015, CB1 sought assurances that the Rector Street Bridge would remain only until the new bridge was completed.
All this while, the Steering Committee of Liberty Community Gardens and other neighborhood groups were working with BPCA, EDC and DOT to plan and design the public space regained when the Rector Street Bridge finally came down.
We look forward to the rapid removal of the Rector Street Bridge and the expansion of community amenities in its place, and we respect and appreciate all of the thought and effort that went into this project by agencies and community members.
Susan Brady, Lucy Kuhn, Michael McCormack, Lesie Nowinski, Alison Simko
Liberty Community Gardens
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