The High Bridge is New York City’s oldest bridge, it was built in the 1850s to serve both as a viaduct to supply Manhattan with water and a pedestrian bridge to connect Washington Heights and the High Bridge neighborhood in the Bronx. It’s been closed for about 40 years, but according to StreetsBlog a movement to get the old, arched, brick and steel beauty refurbished and reopened is on the brink of success.
In early 2010 community input and design processes will begin to get the bridge up to code and open for pedestrians and cyclists, providing a crucial car-free link between Manhattan and the Bronx. Comparing it to the High Line isn’t quite fair, since that park required vast and expensive renovations, and doesn’t really facilitate anything (except exhibitionism and voyeurism). Really, it’s more like the opening of pedestrian and bike paths on the Manhattan Bridge back in 2001, which created a much-needed alternative to the Brooklyn Bridge (which, by the way, will be partially closed for long stretches next year).