Friday, November 11, 2011

Bridge of the Week #72: Richmond Ave. Bridge

We're back to Staten Island for this week's bridge, the Richmond Ave. Bridge. It carries Richmond Ave. over Richmond Creek, between Forest Hill Road and Arthur Kill Road.

Richmond Ave. here is a busy stretch of six-lane road about a mile south of the Staten Island Mall and just north of the north end of the Korean War Veterans Memorial Parkway (formerly Richmond Parkway). The street runs north-south, and there is a sidewalk on the east side, which appears to get little use. (There is also a sidewalk on the west side, but no sidewalk along the street leading to it.) There is little pedestrian traffic in this area, as indeed most of Staten Island is not at all pedestrian-friendly. Therefore I won't make too many comments, as there is not much here to interest a runner, with the notable exception of an entrance to the Staten Island Greenbelt nearby at the corner of Forest Hill Road and Richmond Ave. The Greenbelt is a large forested area in the middle of the island with a series of hiking - or running - trails, that actually extend, with the help of some on-street sections, all the way to Clove Lakes Park. I admit I haven't explored the Greenbelt much myself, so I can't speak about it too much. Also nearby is the site of the notoriously odoriferous former Fresh Kills Landfill, which was closed for trash duties in 2001, and which is now undergoing renovations to become Fresh Kills Park. Seriously, it has potential.

The bridge itself is just a standard steel and concrete bridge. I don't have stats on it, but it's a low-lying bridge, about 100 or so yards long. You'll notice I didn't even bother to take a picture of the bridge itself. Richmond Creek is part of a series of inlets from Arthur Kill, surrounded by protected wetlands. But don't let that top picture, the view to the east, fool you. This is not a nature lover's paradise. The wetlands are then surrounded by random unplanned development, cookie cutter town houses, and lots of concrete on the ground.

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