Progress continues on the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) seven-year renovation plan of the Belt Parkway’s seven bridges and overpasses, as the Fresh Creek Basin Bridge opened to westbound traffic, according to a press release.
As we’ve previously reported, construction along the Belt Parkway has caused heavy traffic problems, so the opening of the Fresh Creek Basin Bridge should help the thousands of cars that run along the highway flow. DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan seems to thinks so.
“Each day our Belt Parkway bridges come alive, carrying 150,000 cars and connecting commuters and commerce across the city and the region,” she announced in the press release.
The bridges and overpasses were built over a half century ago, forcing the impetus for revitalization and repair:
As with the other six Belt Parkway bridges, the total replacement of the Fresh Creek Basin Bridge and its approach roadways will provide the necessary upgrades to bring the structure into compliance with current State and Federal standards. This includes wider travel lanes, safety shoulders, median barriers, improved elevation of the roadway around curves and realignment for improving sight distances and drainage enhancements. This project replaces the original Fresh Creek Basin Bridge, which, along with the other Belt Parkway bridges, was constructed more than 70 years ago and has reached the end of its useful life.
A tractor trailer illegally traveling eastbound on the Belt Parkway struck the subway overpass at East 14th Street, tearing open its haul and causing an SUV behind it to slam into its rear.
The driver of the SUV escaped injury, though the vehicle’s front was crushed. The accident, which occurred just before 9:30 a.m., caused severe delays on the Belt Parkway as authorities shut down all lanes of traffic.
Authorities removed the cargo from the tractor trailer to get it under the overpass. A fire truck hooked its front to the tractor trailer’s load and dragged it off the highway to the Shore Parkway service road, between East 15th Street and Sheepshead Bay Road, which authorities closed to traffic. The highway was reopened just after 10:00 a.m. as a tow truck carried the crushed SUV to the service road as well.
Tractor trailers, like all commercial vehicles, are not permitted on the Belt Parkway.
“I know that. I know,” the driver told Sheepshead Bites when asked if he knew about the restriction. “My boss told me to go on 27. I thought it was closed … so just a little bit.”
The truck driver faces a summons for the violation.
As of this writing, tow truck operators, police and Department of Transportation officials are still on the scene. The tractor trailer’s cargo, was loaded onto a flatbed truck for removal, leaving scratches in the asphalt from where it was dragged.
The overpass had no notable damage, a police officer on the scene told Sheepshead Bites.
FDNY trucks pull the tractor-trailer's load from the highway to the service road, dragging it over the divider. (Photo by Diana R.)
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.
Man, I wish we had a better photo of this one. We’re glad, though, that reader Anastasia at least sent this one, letting us know about the late-night accident on Saturday on the Coney Island Avenue bridge over the Belt Parkway at Guider Avenue. Sent to us at 1:00 a.m., the photo didn’t come with any explanation, but it looks to me – given that there’s no major damage to the side – this guy may have rode the median railing straight up. Anyone have any additional information?
Also, be smart: put Sheepshead Bites’ e-mail address – tips [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com – into your phone’s contacts, so you can e-mail or text us breaking news and photos as soon as you capture it.
The B/Q subway overpass at Avenue Y (between East 15th Street and East 16th Street) began undergoing renovations this week. Contractors are on-scene, clearing off rust and debris, patching up seams and repainting the entire structure.
Hopefully this also means the contractors will repaint the subway embankment walls, which have been plastered in graffiti for weeks, as well as clear out the garbage, pull the weeds and fix the broken sidewalks. Maybe then locals would stop using it as an illegal dumping ground. But, knowing this city, we’re betting that’s a different department’s responsibility…
Stephanie Monseu, Keith Nelson, Rob Hickman, and Caleb Hickman (not in order). Source: Unicycle NYC Bridge Tour.
Sheepshead Bay — not exactly known for its wealth of bridges — but a cluster of happy unicyclists (yes, you read that correctly) are happily cycling their tuccheses around the borough on a single wheel, and recently made their way over what passes for “bridges” in our neck of the woods.
They do need to be commended for their creativity. One can decide to take up unicycling, and one can set out to ride their bike over the city’s bridges, but it takes a truly special mind to combine the two and say, “Let’s unicycle over every bridge in New York City.”
Source: Chicken Underwear / "What You Do Not Know Because You Are Not Me!"
“Chicken Underwear,” who blogs over at “What You Do Not Know Because You Are Not Me!” (hey, I just write this stuff), informs us that “As of June 29, 2011 that bird is still rotting above everybody’s heads.”
On June 28, installation of the new steel superstructure for the East 8th Street / Guider Avenue Belt Parkway overpass will commence at the south end. Night time lane closures will begin on July 5 as the steel installation progresses northward over the South Service road and Belt Parkway. The nightly closures are expected to occur over a period of about three weeks. Night time lane closures on the Belt Parkway will continue, with up to two lanes being closed between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. in either or both directions.
Belt Parkway Lane Closures Eastbound and/or Westbound between Knapp Street and Shell Road
Sunday night through Friday morning:
10 p.m. to 1 a.m. – 1 lane closed
1 a.m. to 5 a.m. – 2 lanes closed**
**On some nights, there will be an all-lane closure at 15-minute intervals. Queued traffic must dissipate completely before another all-lane closure is permitted.
Friday night to Saturday morning:
11 p.m. to 1 a.m. – 1 lane closed
1 a.m. to 6 a.m. – 2 lanes closed
Okay, it’s not our usual beautiful Morning Mug photo, but I thought I’d slip it in and give you a jarring wake up this wonderful Friday morning. The above is… well… it’s a dead freakin’ pigeon. Erica, who shot it (the photo, not the bird), wrote:
It seemed to be laying there in a somewhat awkward, not-alive-looking position.
It really stinks over there, waiting for the B36 beneath a veritable pigeon latrine.