North Brother Island could open to public

North Brother Island in the East River is now a decaying bird sanctuary that's closed to the public, but that may soon change.



Just a short boat ride from the South Bronx, the island was abandoned about 50 years ago. It once housed hundreds of typhoid fever patients from Riverside Hospital, including the infamous Typhoid Mary.



On Friday, students visited the island to study it to determine whether there is a way to safely open it for public access.



The Department of Parks and Recreation says the island, which is city-owned, is a potential site for controlled public waterfront access, but any consideration of public access presents major challenges and would require significant resources.



City Councilman Mark Levine is spearheading the $50,000 study in hope of teaching Bronx residents about their borough's rich history.



Researchers say that while the potential for North Brother Island remains shrouded, additional study could hopefully lead to residents stepping foot there within the next few years.


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