Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Central Park: Bow Bridge Work Underway - Additional Area Restorations Planned

Work is underway on Central Park's iconic cast iron Bow Bridge (1862)  which will be closed through the summer for structural repairs and a fresh coat of paint.  The bridge is wrapped in a tent-like structure to prevent debris from falling into the water. The Department of Transportation identified the structural work needed.  The historic bridge is shaped like an archer’s bow and spans more than 60 feet of the Lake. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on images to enlarge.


By Geoffrey Croft

There are a lot of upset brides these days as one of Central Park's most iconic and romantic locations is getting a makeover.   

Bow Bridge, the backdrop for countless photographs, wedding proposals and movies, is taking the summer off in order to undergo some much needed repair work.  

Work will include replacing wooden decking, fixing several beams on the underside of the span, and reinforcing approaches at either end. 

 A work in progress. The normally bucolic setting has been interrupted to accommodate needed repairs.

The 143-year-old bridge will also get a fresh coat of paint.  Removing the old paint required wrapping the bridge in a tent-like structure to prevent debris from falling into the water, according to the Central Park Conservancy which is overseeing the repairs.   

The cost of the project is $500,000 which is being privately funded through contributions to the Central Park Conservancy. 

"It is important to note that the scope of the project is part of a planned program of work at the Lake that also aligned with the need for structural work identified by DOT, which inspects the bridges in City parks," a Conservancy spokesperson said in a statement.

The bridge closed on April 27th.  The work is expected to last three to four months. 

Built between 1859 and 1862, the cast iron bridge, which is shaped like an archer’s bow, spans more than 60 feet of the Lake. It was designed by architect Calvert Vaux and his assistant Jacob Wrey Mould. Their goal was to avoid having to build a suspension bridge in Central Park.   All repair work on Bow Bridge will be overseen by Central Park Conservancy, which manages and maintains the 843-acre Park. 

What visitors see when they arrive.

Ramble and the Ravine Restoration

The bridge repair isn't the only project in that area.

The Conservancy has been making the rounds over the last month presenting its restoration plan for parts of the Ramble - a 37-acre natural area located mid-park, north of the Lake -  and the Ravine,  part of the 40-acre North Woods.  Both areas are favorites among birders.

As part of a comprehensive effort to renew and sustain Central Park’s woodland landscapes, the Conservancy is working on several projects to restore the Ravine in the North Woods as well as the unrestored portion of the Ramble, according to the group. 

Tonight the Conservancy is presenting before Community Board 7 at 6:30. (Fordham University, 113 West 60th St.) 

Last night they presented at CB 5.  A few weeks ago they met with the Conservancy's Woodlands Advisory Board,  an important user group that includes birders. 

The Woodlands Initiative is part of a $45 million undertaking by the group.

The Lake's five historic boat landings will also be rebuilt as part of the project.

Read More:

gothamist - April 25, 2015 - Jen Carlson  

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