The good folks at Creme / Jun Aizaki Architecture and Design are hoping to bridge the gap between Greenpoint and Long Island City with a floating bridge connecting Manhattan and Vernon Avenues across Newtown Creek.
Doesn’t the Pulaski Bridge already do almost exactly that? You might ask. The project, known as the Timber Bridge at LongPoint Corridor, seeks to do it better. According to the project’s Master Plan, the Timber Bridge would reduce the 12-minute trek across the Pulaski Bridge into a 2 minute jaunt.
Beyond that, the project calls for “a renovation of the street at Manhattan Landing, a pedestrian bridge across Newtown Creek, waterfront restoration and expansion on both sides of the bridge, and a pedestrian route across the LIRR railyard.”
And, in keeping with Greenpoint’s environmentally conscious reputation, the project’s master plan calls it both feasible and sustainable, because “the Timber Bridge design consists of a floating platform and a pivoting mechanism that allows the bridge to open for larger vessels. Small vessels such as kayaks and sail boats will be able to pass under at any time. The platform will rise and fall with the tide, protecting the bridge from flooding, while propulsion pontoons will help stabilize the structure.”
While the concept of a floating timber bridge is new (if this project is realized, it will be the first floating timber bridge in New York City) the passage between Greenpoint and LIC is not. In a sense, this project is a 21st century reimagining of the Vernon Avenue Bridge which connected the two neighborhoods until it was demolished in 1954.
The developers argue that this is the time for history to repeat, and for the bridge to make an appearance in floating form, because population growth here and in LIC offers an opportunity “to provide transportation options and jump-start community engagement before the need becomes too overwhelming. In addition to creating a pedestrian lane and a separate bike lane, the Longpoint Corridor would grant easier access to both the L train and 7 train.” That transit access is especially salient given the impending L-pocalypse.
If you’d like to float your way out of the L train shutdown, you can back the project on Kickstarter!