NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The last section of Brooklyn Bridge Park, a pedestrian plaza, broke ground Wednesday.
As CBS2’s Kiran Dhillon reported, the plaza is named after a female pioneer that helped make the bridge a reality.
As the city’s first snowflakes fell, construction began.
“This cold weather, but we’re here feeling the warmth of something really great,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The two-acre plaza will be a large open space for the public to gather. It sits near the corner of Water and New Dock streets and comes with a special name.
“We will be naming this final section of the park as Emily Roebling Plaza,” said Eric Landau, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation.
Roebling was the pioneer who helped see the Brooklyn Bridge to completion. Her father-in-law, John, was the initial designer. After he got sick, his son and Emily’s husband, Washington, took over as chief engineer.
But when he, too, fell ill, the top job was handed to Emily.
“I think she’d be so delighted that this place that she dedicated so much of her life to that it will become this beautiful part of this park and in her honor,” Kristian Roebling said.
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The Roebling family said it is thrilled to see her receive the recognition she deserves.
Kristian Roebling said after the bridge’s completion in 1883, it was his great-great grandmother who was the first person to officially cross the bridge.
It’s believed with a rooster in hand.
“Roosters make a lot of noise when the sun comes up, so it was a sign of here comes the sun, so to speak. A hard job that seemed insurmountable at the time had been accomplished,” Kristian Roebling said.
The city-run nonprofit overseeing the entire park said naming the plaza after Emily was a no-brainer.
“It was a real family protect, but it was Emily who brought it across the finish line,” Landau said.
Deputy Mayor Vicki Been agreed.
“Emily, like so many women, was the brains, the brawn, the determination, the get-it-done person who made this happen against incredible odds. She was unsung in so many ways, like so many women in our history,” Been said.
The Emily Roebling Plaza will cost about $12 million to build, all of it city funds.
It should be completed for everyone to enjoy by late 2021.
The entire Brooklyn Bridge Park project has been in the works since 2008 and has cost around $400 million, all state and city funds.