NEW YORK, NEW YORK
New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has announced plans to close the mass-transit L-line for 15 months of repairs. While the MTA believes the system is capable of supporting the 225,000 affected passengers on other lines, commuters are skeptical. That’s why Parker Shinn has launched a Kickstarter campaign to gauge community support for a pontoon bridge. The idea is thousands of years old, and a pontoon bridge across the East River, connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan, could be built in eight months. Thirty 90-ft. barges could be assembled with modular steel assemblies from any number of suppliers offsite, floated into position, and anchored. The L-Ternative bridge would carry two bus lanes and two pedestrian/bicycle lanes. It would have an elevated portion for small vessel passage, and a turn-out gate for larger craft. The project has not gone out to bid, but it is estimated costs could be covered with a $1 toll. While the idea must still be approved by governing bodies and regulatory agencies, it is not as fetched as other proposed alternatives, like a skyway gondola or an inflatable tunnel.