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Apr 07, 2010

Astoria Scum River Bridge Video

The Astoria Scum River Bridge appeared one day under the 33rd Street Hell Gate Bridge viaduct approach, to the fascination, appreciation, and curiosity of Astorians living nearby. Built by Jason (…)

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The Astoria Scum River Bridge appeared one day under the 33rd Street Hell Gate Bridge viaduct approach, to the fascination, appreciation, and curiosity of Astorians living nearby. Built by Jason Eppink and his friend “Posterchild”, the Bridge served a practical purpose – allowing pedestrians to avoid having to walk in the scum river that covered a good portion of the sidewalk.

In the summer, it was gross because it was slimy and just plain nasty. In the winter, it froze over and was a hazard. I’m sorry to say that one winter morning last year, around 7:30am, I slipped on that frozen scum river on my way home from the gym. It sucked, was painful, and I tried not to think too much about how unpleasant it was to fall on the frozen scum.

Back in January, the Scum River Bridge garnered attention from local online media, so much so that soon after the Bridge was installed, Amtrak must have gotten wind of it, as workers were out fixing it. In Jason Eppink’s words:

Two days later, Amtrak workers began construction work. Astoria Scum River was quickly routed off the sidewalk, and within a couple months, custom-made grates were installed to complete the project. The bridge, no longer needed, was de-installed on March 20th, 2010 and returned to the curb whence it came.

An Astorian resident, who goes by the pseudonym “PDQ Fruitbat”, reports that the other side of the viaduct is leaking (that would be the west side). Will the Scum River Bridge make another appearance? No one knows, but I’d support its return.

Here’s a recent video about the Astoria Scum River Bridge, that was featured today on Andrew Sullivan’s blog.  He learned about it from the Wooster Collective.  Perhaps more media attention will bring back the bridge!

Photo credit: (cc) Jason Eppink via a Creative Commons license

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

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