Plan to build pedestrian plaza under the Brooklyn Bridge moves forward

May 26, 2020

Rendering courtesy of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

Plans to build a public plaza under the Brooklyn Bridge that will connect the Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo sections of the waterfront park are moving forward. The Landmarks Preservation Commission last week approved designs from the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates to transform a currently fenced-off lot into a two-acre civic space. The project is the final section of the park; construction began in 2008 and has been opening in phases over the last decade.

Existing view and rendering of the plaza courtesy of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

The goal of the $8 million project is to link north and south ends of the park, increasing the park’s circulation. Currently, to travel between the Dumbo section and the Brooklyn Heights section of Brooklyn Bridge Park, you have to exit the park and walk along Water Street to do so.

During the busy summer months, the sidewalk on Water Street can become quite congested, according to Eric Landau, the president of  Brooklyn Bridge Park. “In a time period obviously where we are focused on social distancing, and creating more space, this project couldn’t come at a better opportunity,” Landau said during the LPC hearing last Tuesday.

The plan, first reported by the Brooklyn Paper, involves opening up the closed-off lot and expanding and reconfiguring the Fulton Ferry Lawn. Designs call for added plantings, park benches, and seating made of salvaged granite. The concrete pavers will mirror the look of the deck that runs below the bridge, which will help guide the eye toward the landmarked bridge.

Brooklyn Bridge Park envisions the space to hold community programming, including seasonal markets, festivals, and educational events. Work on the project is expected to start in the late fall and will be completed in December 2021.

Work also continues on the park’s Pier 2 Uplands, which will add 3.4 acres of parkland, including a water garden and water features with spray jets. Pier 2 Uplands is expected to wrap up this summer. And earlier this month the Squibb Bridge reopened with a new steel structure, which replaced the previous wooden one that was deemed unsafe two years ago because of structural issues.


Renderings courtesy of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

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