The shark-painted walkway stretching over Surf Avenue at the corner of West 8th Street was torn down over the weekend, just like the city promised.
Last May, we reported that the rusted bridge was being dismantled for safety reasons. Originally, the bridge was put up 50 years ago to transfer people coming off of the Culver and Brighton lines into the then newly built aquarium.
Critics, including City Council candidate Todd Dobrin, charged that the removal of the overpass would make the intersection less safe, as pedestrians would have to contend with traffic. Allan Shweky, who runs Friends of Ocean Parkway, a blog focused on pedestrian safety, provided us with the images of the now removed overpass and lent his thoughts.
“As you know a traffic light will replace the bridge. There will be a new entrance to the Boardwalk on West 10 Street but the walk from the subway will force subway riders to cross a crowded Surf Avenue to get to the beach. Will be as safe as the Stillwell Avenue intersection which is not saying much,” Shweky told us.
Firefighters and transit workers teamed up to battle a blaze that consumed a signal room and stretch of tracks at West 8th Street – New York Aquarium F and Q station on Friday evening, taking about three hours to squash the flames.
Tipster Elina N. sent in the above video taken just minutes after the fire erupted onto the second level. The fire originated on the roof of the signal station at approximately 6:30 p.m. and was “under control” by around 9:20 p.m. No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Those hoping to visit Coney Island had their plans bungled, though, as transit workers spent all of Saturday repairing the extensive damage, including replacing track panels, wooden track ties and part of a walkway at the station. Q service was terminated between Brighton Beach and Stillwell Avenue for most of the weekend. The F train had no service between Avenue X and Stillwell Avenue.