The Seven Bridges Project on the Belt Parkway sure is plodding along, but we’re sure there are still plenty among you wondering why the heck such a large-scale project needed to be done.
Well, worry not. Crazeenydriver is here to explain it to you… and with a spectacular Brooklyn accent.
In Crazee’s video, Exploring The Belt Parkway Plum Beach Bridge, we see there’s still plenty of work to be done. The January 29 video focuses on the undercarriage of the bridge as well as the walkway. Throughout the slideshow video, he shows some photos of eroding metal and pavement that’s on top of the bridge, and rust that has coated parts of the bridge.
When he arrives at the bottom of the bridge, you can see that a good portion of the concrete has worn off. However, he did notice some beams that were placed under the bridge that weren’t there during his last visit a year ago.
“It’s in poor condition,” said Crazeenydriver in the video.
The $365 million contract for the Seven Bridges Project started in 2009, beginning with reconstruction three significantly deteriorated bridges on the Belt Parkway. The federal- and city-funded initiative is part of the $5 billion tab that the Bloomberg administration has picked up on bridge rehabilitation.
The following is a press release from the Department of Transportation:
New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner (DOT) Janette Sadik-Khan today announced the completion of the first phase of a $365 million contract started in 2009 to reconstruct three significantly deteriorated bridges on the Belt Parkway, which carry 150,000 cars a day through Brooklyn and Queens to John F. Kennedy International Airport and Nassau County to the east and to the Gowanus Expressway and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to the west. Once notorious for their rough condition, the bridges at Paerdegat Basin, Rockaway Parkway and Fresh Creek Basin are the first of seven structures undergoing complete reconstruction. Eastbound traffic this week shifted onto the first of two new parallel structures passing over the Paerdegat Basin. Westbound traffic is scheduled to shift onto the formerly eastbound span on December 28 to permit construction to begin on the parallel structure which is expected to be completed in 2013. In another contract milestone, westbound traffic was shifted onto the new bridge over Rockaway Parkway on December 5.
The re-opening of the East 8th Street Bridge – a.k.a. the Guider Avenue Bridge – is scheduled for tomorrow, December 2, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
That means motorists heading from Brighton Beach to the westbound Belt Parkway will no longer be forced over the Coney Island Avenue Bridge, through the heavily-congested Avenue Z intersection, and down a residential block in order to get to the highway. After nearly two years of construction, they’ll finally return to the faster, more direct route of the Guider Avenue Bridge.
The opening was original planned for last week, but rain prevented the installation of the final pavement sealant. It’s not the first delay on the bridge – construction was intended to be completed in spring of 2011, was pushed back to fall, and, well, the latest completion date is slated to be in February 2012 – two full years after it began.
Though the road will be open tomorrow, the bridge will remain closed to pedestrian traffic until all work is complete, according to the Department of Transportation. Temporary barriers and fencing will also remain in place until then.
A new Belt Parkway exit ramp will open tomorrow serving drivers at Rockaway Parkway (Exit 13). It’s the first stage of the new, permanent exit ramp. Upon full completion, the exit ramp will provide a wider lane, better riding surface and a safety shoulder for emergency stopping. The increased width will also provide better visibility while exiting the highway.
But that’s not the only update with the Belt Parkway reconstruction, which began at the end of 2009 and will ultimately see seven Southern Brooklyn Belt Parkway bridges replaced by 2016. While commuters have been banging their heads over the construction-spurred traffic problems, environmentalists may have reason to rejoice. As part of the project, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is mandating the contract recipient tidy up the shoreline and restore wetland habitats.
Beginning at 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 3 4 [UPDATED], all three lanes of westbound Belt Parkwaytraffic between Pennsylvania Avenue (Exit 14) and Rockaway Parkway (Exit 13) will shift from the existing roadway to a new temporary bridge over Fresh Creek on the north side of the existing bridge. The temporary bridge will be in use for approximately 30 months while the existing Fresh Creek Bridge is dismantled and a new bridge is constructed in its place. This temporary bridge will permit the new bridge to be constructed in stages, with minimal disruption to Belt Parkway traffic. Once the new, permanent bridge is in place, all traffic will be re-routed onto the new structure and the surrounding area will be restored.
Well, at least it won’t have potholes. Yet.
[UPDATE - 3/3/2011 - DOT has changed the date of the traffic shift to Friday, March 4. The change is reflected above.]