BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation is suing the firm behind the "faulty and defective" Squibb Park pedestrian bridge, officials said.
The bridge opened to the public in March 2013, and was designed by HNTB Corporation as "lightweight and flexible." It gave walkers a slight bounce as they traversed from Brooklyn Heights to Brooklyn Bridge Park.
But the bridge was closed to the public in August 2014 after staff reported "unusual movement."
Despite attempts to repair the bridge for more than a year, it was found that "its design was inherently flawed" and it remains closed, park spokeswoman Belinda Cape said in a statement.
"Today we filed a lawsuit seeking recovery of all repair costs from HNTB Corporation. After working with the firm to reopen Squibb Park Bridge over the past 16 months, it has become clear that the firm was either unwilling or unable to provide a workable solution to fix the bridge," she said.
In the $6-million lawsuit filed Friday morning, the waterfront park corporation accused HNTB, a design and engineering firm, of professional malpractice and breach of contract.
The bridge was deemed "defective," "unstable," deformed" and "endangered the public," the filing stated.
"As a result of HNTB's contractual and professional failures, the Bridge had to be closed and repaired, at great cost to BBP and the public. This action seeks to recover these costs," the filing said.
HNTB was hired to design and oversee construction of the bridge, and even signed off on the structure as it was built, according to the lawsuit.
Park officials have since fired HNTB and hired a new engineer ARUP, which will be working with the Department of Transportation's Division of Bridges on a plan to stabilize Squibb Park Bridge, Cape said.
"We are doing everything we can to make sure parkgoers have the bridge they've been promised," she said.