The Next High Line: The Tappan Zee Bridge?

02/03/2012 3:00 PM |

Artists rending of the Tappan Bridge Park by Milagros Lecuona.

  • Artist’s rending of the Tappan Bridge Park by Milagros Lecuona.

Ever since the High Line opened and began to attract flocks of tourists and unquantifiable millions of dollars to the adjacent West Chelsea streets, other neighborhoods and cities have been trying to replicate the formula. We even tried to imagine a new High Line-style retrofit park for each of the outer boroughs. But the parkland potential of one about-to-be-decommissioned piece of infrastructure hadn’t occurred to us: the Tappan Zee Bridge. Now a movement is afoot to convert Tarrytown’s Hudson-spanning bridge into a pedestrian crossing and park.

The Tappan Zee, you may know, is about to be replaced to the tune of $5.2 billion, although what the new bridge will look like and what will happen to the old are not-so-minor details that have yet to be determined—though demolition seems to be the current bridge’s likely fate.

But one group, lead by urban planner Milagros Lecuona, launched the Tappan Bridge Park project, in hopes that rather than being demolished the aging bridge could become a pedestrian walkway and park. The plan is a long shot, for sure, but given the glaring lack of public transportation, bike and pedestrian accommodations in the current design for the new Tappan Zee, it could turn out to be a vital retrofit.

Before that can happen, though, it will take a lot of signatures to get the attention of the many local, state and federal officials hoping to replace the Tappan Zee as quickly as possible. Sign the Tappan Bridge Park petition here.


Follow Benjamin Sutton on Twitter @LMagArt

2 Comment

  • Love it. How’s about decommissioning the BQE and making it the next High Line? Hey, it’s not crazy–think 10 years from now. Think of the majority of healthy New Yorkers on cycles, and new technology advancing us past fossil fuel mobiles. In 20 years time, maybe sooner, the whole concept of the city will be re-imagined–mostly because the miles and miles of streets, roads, highways, etc. will be rendered “empty” and an entire new city will embed within the city. Sutton’s last article was on the proposed 1,200 acres of rooftop farming all over NY–imagine the miles and miles of “street farms” that could happen. If more and more of us speculate as such, it will happen!

  • We’re about to go to war with Iran. Because they have a nuclear weapon or are building one? Ostensibly for the moment, yes. But deeper: our fossil fuel dependence. Are we really risking possible nuclear annihilation overseas, or even here, because of a ridiculously inefficient technology?