The dream of being able once again to walk over the High Bridge took a giant step toward realization in April 2007, when Mayor Bloomberg announced that New York City will restore and reopen the bridge. The High Bridge is New York?s oldest standing bridge and the most celebrated part of the famed Old Croton Aqueduct. Since 2001, the High Bridge Coalition has led a campaign to give this pedestrian bridge, a city and national landmark, new life as a great public space and greenway link.
The High Bridge is the oldest remaining bridge in New York City. The bridge spans the Harlem River, connecting the neighborhoods of Highbridge in the Bronx and Washington Heights in Manhattan. First opened in 1848 as part of the Old Croton Aqueduct, the 1200–foot–long, 116-foot-tall High Bridge walkway first brought fresh water to New York City from Westchester County and fueled the city’s northward expansion. It was closed to regular public use around 1970.
By 2014, the bridge will be rehabilitated and reopened for pedestrians and bicyclists thanks in large part to $49.7 million in funding from Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative. Additional funding from Congressman José E. Serrano was critical as well to move the $61.9 million project forward. The reopened High Bridge will be an essential link in New York City’s expanding waterfront Greenway. It will allow Bronx residents to reach the Highbridge Pool and Recreation Center, and Manhattan residents to reach the Harlem River waterfront. Planned improvements will make the bridge more accessible and safe. The rehabilitation will follow historic preservation principles to restore the architectural details of this landmarked structure for public enjoyment.