LOWER MANHATTAN — After years of delays and revised plans, the long-awaited West Thames pedestrian bridge is pushing ahead.
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation approved $17.2 million in funds Thursday for construction of the 230-foot bridge that will stretch diagonally across busy West Street, connecting the Financial District to Battery Park City at West Thames Street.
The plan for the metal and glass bridge has been in the works for nearly a decade, and will finally replace the Rector Street foot bridge, which was meant to be temporary.
The current model for the bridge, which has a total budget of $27 million, is designed by WXY Architecture and engineering firm Weidlinger Associates. Community Board 1 signed off on several small design revisions last November, including the removal of canopies on staircases that lead up to the bridge.
LMDC president David Emil said the project has begun taking construction bids, and will have a team ready to start building the massive bridge by late winter in 2016.
The LMDC will provide funding and project monitoring throughout the construction process.
“It’s been a very long road…I’m very excited that we’re finally able to authorize this funding,” Emil said.
The project is estimated to take 24 to 30 months to complete.