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New York City Economic Development Corporation takes down Pedestrian Bridge at W. Eighth Street-New York Aquarium

Coney leaders applaud, boo loss of path from train to Boardwalk

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The long-neglected pedestrian bridge over Surf Avenue finally got some attention from city workers Wednesday — who took it down overnight.

The shark-painted span linking the W. Eighth Street-New York Aquarium train station to the Boardwalk finally sank, as a demolition crew ripped it down in the dark of night on Aug. 7.

The fishy bridge netted both fans in detractors in the 50 years that it took visitors over Surf Avenue to the Boardwalk — and its demise went over swimmingly with some, but left others high and dry.

The elevated pathway was long an orphan, with the neither Metropolitan Transit Authority, nor the Parks Department willing to take responsibility for maintaining it. The paint job chipped and rusted, the pathway became pitted, and an analysis last year concluded it was in danger of falling down eventually.

“I’ve been working on it for 17 years, and it’s finally gone,” rejoiced Community Board 13 district manager Chuck Reichenthal.

Others lamented the loss of an iconic part of the People’s Playground — and of an easy and safe route from the train onto the Boardwalk.

“If you’ve went to Coney Island as a kid, you got off that subway, you crossed that bridge, and you were in Coney Island,” said CB13 member Pat Singer. “We’ve been hung out to dry.”

Singer, who had fought to get the city to fix up the span over the years, argued that it should build a new one. But the New York City Economic Development Corporation — the semi-public agency that acts as the city’s liaison to business, and which paid to demolish the structure — said no such plans are in the works. Instead, the Corporation said the city intends to widen the sidewalks on the block, install a traffic light at W. Eighth Street and Surf Avenue, and create a new entrance to the seaside promenade at W. 10th Street.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.
Posted 12:00 am, August 9, 2013
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Reader feedback

Neil Stevens from prospect heights says:
Is that stairway in the photo permanently closed now? Is there no longer any way to exit the subway towards Surf Ave.?

This was an easy way to get kids and beach gear to the boardwalk. What a shame that no one wanted to keep up on the maintenance.
Aug. 9, 2013, 3:01 pm
Charlie from Sheepshead Bay says:
It's too late! A new Coney Island eyesore has been created. Someone should have looked at the architecture flowing gracefully out of the subway stop structure to the boardwalk walkway. That will be an strange eyesore forever more, unless enormous $$$ is spent. What politician tried for 15 years to get it all wrong again this time?
Aug. 11, 2013, 10:26 pm
Scottilla from Midwood says:
I don't get it. Who was against the bridge and now celebrating? I can see that the bridge was neglected due to inertia in the political process, but did anyone really oppose a safe passage from the subway to the boardwalk?
Aug. 13, 2013, 10:04 am

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