Old Structure, New Attraction
Name NYC’s oldest bridge!
The oldest bridge in NYC is actually High Bridge. It opened in 1848 before the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883. High Bridge connects Manhattan and the Bronx over the Harlem River. High Bridge was meant to be part of the Croton Aqueduct which carried water from the Croton River in upstate NY. The water was used to supply the five boroughs until 1949. Since the aqueduct needed to cross the Harlem River to reach NYC, a bridge had to be built because technology back then was not good enough to create a tunnel for pipes. As for the height, High Bridge was designed to be tall enough so that ships can cross under it safely. Pedestrians could walk across High Bridge to cross boroughs too. It was very popular too, due to peace from the absence of car traffic. Unfortunately, the High Bridge was closed in the 1970s due to poor maintenance and vandalism.
Four decades later, High Bridge reopened in June 2015, after two and a half years of restoration. In addition to an opening ceremony on June 9, the Parks Department is holding a special High Bridge Festival on July 25 to celebrate the bridge’s reopening. On that day, there will be special tours explaining the history and structure of the High Bridge. A variety of fun, games, and food will make the High Bridge Festival an enjoyable experience for people of all ages.
Photo Credit: http://www.nycgovparks.org/