THE FRIENDS OF THE OLD CROTON AQUEDUCT ARE PLEASED TO HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THIS HISTORIC EVENT. After being closed for 45 years, the Old Croton Aqueduct’s High Bridge, now renovated, is open to the public. The bridge is part of New York City’s park system, administered by the city’s Department of Parks & Recreation. It is accessible to all, including visitors using wheelchairs, bikes, and strollers. Following are directions for getting onto the bridge from both the Bronx and Manhattan ends. The Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct were founding members of the Steering Committee of the High Bridge Coalition, formed in 2001, and have remained active for its entire duration. The Coalition Steering Committee, with support from the Parks Department and Partnership for Parks, recruited member organizations - eventually about 50 - and individual members who together championed the plan to reopen the bridge. The Steering Committee worked for years to inspire and involve the Highbridge and Washington Heights neighborhoods in the bright future of the almost-forgotten historic treasure in their midst. Supporting programming and improvements in the two gateway parks, organizing community meetings and events like birthday parties for the bridge, bringing the story of the bridge to local schools and community groups, creating a website, publicity, and educational materials, tabling at local events - all this and more led to a solid base of public support that convinced elected officials to invest in bringing the bridge back to life. Through its maps, research, and collective knowledge, the Friends have served as a resource to public and private sectors and, through its newsletter and website, have helped to spread word of the High Bridge campaign beyond the borders of New York City. We have supported important Parks Department initiatives like rebuilding access to the bridge from Manhattan and advocated for the best achievable design. We will continue to do all we can, with others, to assure the future success of this grand project.
How to Reach the Bridge
Entry to the bridge is at street level from Bronx Highbridge Park, located at W. 170th St. and University Ave. (Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.) and nearby streets. The Aqueduct lies beneath this small park. By subway: The park is uphill from the 170th St. stop on the no. 4 line; the 170th St. stop on the B/D line is a little further away. By car: The park is adjacent to 1381 Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd. (feature 22 on the Friends’ map of the Aqueduct in New York City). Parking is difficult. <
Entry to the bridge is partway down a hillside in Manhattan Highbridge Park.
- Stairway - At W. 172nd St. and Amsterdam Ave., follow the paved path past a playground to the 98-step stairway next to High Bridge Tower (closed for repairs). The bottom of the stairs is at the entry to the bridge. The 168th St. stations on the No. 1 and A/C subway lines are in convenient walking distance (about 10 minutes).
- Paved path - From W. 167th St. and Edgecombe Ave. (one block east of Amsterdam Ave.), follow the rampway down, cross the playground, and turn left onto the paved path to the bridge, about a half-mile (about 10 minutes). This path is on the line of the Aqueduct. For those not using wheeled means, a pleasant alternative is to take the same path from its beginning (see plaque set in paving) at W. 165th St. and Edgecombe Ave.; a sign at the sidewalk says Adventure Playground. Subway information: same as for stairway directions above.