The West Thames Street Bridge

The new pedestrian bridge over West Street recently had a soft opening: without fanfare, it was opened to use. It’s not quite finished: the elevators at both ends are not yet working, and the east end has a temporary stair rather than the permanent one. (The rendering above, showing the hoped-for completed state, is from the NYC EDC press release.)

The center pier has a pair of arms that come up (in a “Y”) to provide direct support to the pins at the center connection where the two spans meet. That’s a logical and good-looking detail. For some reason – possibly to suggest streamlining – the arms slope inward, so that when seen from any angle but looking directly transverse across the deck, they look like they’re sloped along the length of the bridge. I’m just a building engineer, but that detail looks funny to me.

Overall, a good bridge. More importantly, a much better bridge than the gussied-up Bailey bridge that’s been the temporary access for 18 years.

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