EAST HARLEM — After nearly two years of construction, the pedestrian bridge that connects East Harlem to Wards Island is expected to open next week, the city's Department of Transportation confirmed Monday.
The new Wards Island Pedestrian Bridge, which runs from East 103rd Street and Second Avenue to the island, will open June 1, and will feature a new safety railing, better lighting and a security camera, according to WABC, which first reported the story.
The $16.8 million renovation, partly funded by the American Recovery and Re-investment Act, includes a facelift for the Manhattan Control House, the Wards Island Tender House and the bridge's operating machinery, according to the DOT.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the footbridge in 1951, to connect Manhattanites with the playing fields, bicycle paths and waterfront scenery of Wards Island Park.
The park has gotten a facelift in recent years, thanks to a $550,000 grant awarded to the Randall's Island Sports Foundation in 2003 and used to create the Wards Island Waterfront Pathway, according to the Parks Department website. The walkway includes a biking and pedestrian trail that extends the width of the island.