the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, residents have been complaining about the lack of progress with the footbridge over the Saddle River at the end of Queens Court and Kingsbridge Lane . The footbridge is a vital pedestrian artery, for commuters going to NYC and students going to school or town.
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It has been well over a year that the footbridge has been closed, forcing adults and children to either walk an additional mile on the dangerous, curvy and dark East Saddle River Road or take their lives in their own hands walking the off ramp of Route 17 North.
According to Mayor Susan Knudsen who addressed the issue on Facebook , “As discussed at a Village Council meeting a few months back, the Village already contracted with a structural engineer who determined the bridge was damaged beyond repair. This is a result of age and exposure to the elements undermining/corroding the frame. The Replacement of the bridge will require ADA compliance resulting in far more complex engineering and build. Necessary bridge height and required ADA ramp means the overall design will change dramatically to accommodate ramp length. Village Council expressed support for funding the replacement, likely in the area of $375,000 – $400,000 +/-. Funding would be included in the next budget. Recently it occurred to me to at least request an RFP for just the repair to see if any responses. I’ll add to the next Village Council work session to determine if it is beneficial. “
Other residents say there nothing is structurally wrong with the footbridge and it could easily be repaired. and they accuse the Village of Ridgewood engineer of hastily wanting to upgrade the footbridge to make it wheelchair accessible, despite the fact that East Saddle River Road has no sidewalks and wheelchairs would be forced to use the dangerous road .
One neighbor claimed they were told by the Village engineer that the footbridge would not be repaired for another year or two — which is completely unacceptable.