FOCAAdmin  Dec.19.2021

With the reopening of the Highbridge Step Street (located at 170th x University Avenue in The Bronx at Highbridge Park) on December 14, 2021, a trifecta of restoration of historic Old Croton Aqueduct structures has been achieved.

The High Bridge was restored and reopened on June 9, 2015, and the High Bridge Water Tower (located near W. 170th Street x Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan at Highbridge Park) was reopened on October 27, 2021. All within a short walking distance of one another, the Highbridge Step Street was the elegant switchback staircase on The Bronx side of the High Bridge, which allowed visitors to ascend to the High Bridge and to University Avenue beyond from Sedgwick Avenue, located near The Bronx shore of the Harlem River. The High Bridge carried (via the Old Croton Aqueduct located within it) fresh and wholesome water across the Harlem River from The Bronx to Manhattan destined for New York City. The High Bridge, a pedestrian- (and now bicycle-) only bridge links The Bronx and Manhattan and is now part of the Aqueduct Trail. As with the High Bridge Water Tower project on the Manhattan end of the High Bridge, construction on the Highbridge Step Street began in March of 2020, and was slowed but not stopped by the Pandemic.

Will the newly reopened Highbridge Step Street eclipse the popularity of the nearby step street connecting Shakespeare and Anderson Avenues x W. 167th Street in The Bronx a/k/a the “Joker Stairs?”

Friends Board Members and Advisers Charlotte Fahn, Lesley Yu Walter, President Mavis Cain and Sara Kelsey represented the Friends at the opening ceremony.

Work in progress 2021Work in progress 2021Work in progress 2021Work in progress 2021 Original High Bridge Stairway from Harlem River Boat Landing, Scientific American, 1886  (Courtesy of Robert Kornfeld)Plan for the restoration, photo by Lesley WalterLooking up, 2021, photo by Lesley WalterLooking down, 2021, photo by Lesley Walter