Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bridge of the Week #37: Burke Bridge

When I started this bridge series, I intended to do only the bigger bridges over major waterways. I certainly wouldn't waste my time with little bridges that you barely even know you cross over, like the 9th St. Bridge over the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn (Bridge #21). But then I decided some of those little bridges have some interest, either in terms of history, engineering, geography, neighborhood, etc. Plus I realized that in some cases I can run across a handful of those little bridges in one run and be good for several weeks. So I decided to do them all. But only the ones over water - no overpasses, viaducts (except one which I'll do later as a bonus) - since this is a city of waterways. And no little footbridges in the parks. Except this one. I chose to do this one, and not ones like Bow Bridge in Central Park, because this at least crosses a river, and upriver and downriver are larger roadway bridges, drawbridges even. Plus, it does connect paths that are good for running, as opposed to the footpaths in Central Park.

The Burke Bridge is a footbridge in Bronx Park over the Bronx River. It's a few blocks north of the Kazimiroff Boulevard Bridge and is even with Burke Ave. to the east, to which it connects by a footpath and stairway. I don't have any specs on it, but it's a stone and concrete arch bridge. The current bridge on the site is fairly new or at least newly renovated. I has a wide, smooth path and nice benches on both sides. It's a very pleasant little spot on the tranquil Bronx River. It also features an informational plaque telling about restoration of the Bronx River floodplain. Much of the area around the Bronx River, especially this section, had been abandoned for decades, used as a dumping ground, but is now cleaned up and a new haven for wildlife, not to mention a nice park area.

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