Special to The Equinox
The footbridge linking the Teaneck and Hackensack portions of the Fairleigh Dickinson Metro Campus is in the final stages of a reconstruction that was started at the end of Spring semester 2019.
The design of the work, which opened to pedestrians on the first Tuesday of the semester, is receiving mixed reviews from the FDU community.
“I thought the bridge was fine the way it was before,” said sophomore Jong Been Park. “I wish the money for the bridge was going to something more useful.”
The university opted to upgrade the bridge with the goal of improved aesthetics.
Richard Frick, vice president of facilities and auxiliary services, told The Equinox last year that the bridge re-do was inspired by the High Line park in Manhattan.
“FDU did a nice job renovating the bridge in the short time they had,” said Junior Nicholas Incle. “It looks more appealing than it did before, and I believe it adds more character.”
The total cost of construction on the new bridge is estimated to be approximately $4 million, said IBEW164 electrical worker Matt Roman from Fort Lee, a worker on the site.
The new bridge spans approximately 200 feet in length and 16 feet in width. At first glance, it has a slick look with a gray color and modern design.
The bridges upgrade includes tables, benches, canopies and flowerbeds.
What it doesn’t have is access to cars.
One car, and perhaps the last one that crossed the bridge, may well have been that of President Obama, who transited it on a campus visit, said a bridge worker.
The bridge has a narrowed walkway, which may be an issue for bikers — and others.
“I feel it will be a bit congested,” said Melissa Dalessio, a grad student.
“Even though my skater friends might not like it, you know, the [old bridge] was a killer skate spot — this one doesn’t even have enough space, “ said senior Will Marte.
“It forces people to talk to each other, something that kind of gets lost nowadays,” said assistant baseball coach Ethan Newton.
When completed, the bridge will be illuminated by lights every 2 feet.
That’s a problem for Marte, the student.
“Whenever I walk around, I see swarms of bugs,” he said. “They probably come from those lights.”
“One more week before we finish with the electrical part and lighting of the bridge,” said Roman, the electrical worker. “By the time we’re done, the bridge will be completely lit.”
Hopefully, “very lit,” he said.
Contributes from COMM 2833 (News Writing) students Nicole Fuchs, Karen Ramirez, Kyle Huber, Aishwarya Gandotra, Cindy (Binh) Nguyen, Anaya Ezeike and Anthony Covino.