New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced that this week DEC’s Artificial Reef Program deployed parts of the old City Island Bridge in the Bronx on the Hempstead Reef to enhance local fishery habitat as part of Governor Cuomo’s initiative to significantly expand New York’s network of artificial reefs. The state’s program is designed to build a stronger, more diverse marine ecosystem and provide shelter for fish and other marine life off New York’s shores in an effort to expand recreation and tourism opportunities.
“These concrete and steel bridge materials will enhance the local marine habitat and fishery populations, benefitting both anglers and divers frequenting New York’s artificial reefs,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Governor Cuomo recognizes that expanding Long Island’s artificial reefs is an innovative way to reuse materials for the benefit of the environment and our economy. I commend DEC’s marine resources staff for their work in this ongoing, historic reef expansion effort.”
The original City Island Bridge was built in 1901, crossed Eastchester Bay in the Bronx, and was decommissioned in 2015, after the replacement bridge was built. The state procured the bridge materials through a partnership with the New York City Department of Transportation and the Tutor-Perini Corporation, the contracting firm that deconstructed the old bridge and built the new overpass.
Under DEC guidance, the City Island Bridge project deployed a total of 47 concrete-filled steel caissons measuring up to 34 feet in length that once supported the original bridge. These concrete and steel bridge materials are similar to the Tappan Zee Bridge materials deployed on Hempstead Reef under Governor Cuomo’s Artificial Reef Initiative’s earlier this year.
“I thank both the NYC DOT and the Tutor-Perini Corporation for their collaboration in this project and in helping