The proposed overhaul of Paerdegat Basin Bridge includes building two new structures
and demolishing the existing bridge

At 10:00 p.m. tonight, Department of Transportation workers will shut down lanes in both directions of the Belt Parkway, moving forward with a seven-year renovation plan of the highway’s bridges and overpasses.

The first lane closures will occur between the Fresh Creek and the Paerdegat Bridges. The closures – which occur during nights, weekends, and non-rush hour afternoons – are required for the installation of temporary concrete barriers, lighting, and paving and the removal of existing lighting systems and median guiderail. The expected duration of this phase of work is 6 to 8 weeks.

Below is the schedule of lane closures during the first 6 to 8 week phase:

Lane Closures:


  • All lanes open 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • One lane closed 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • One lane closed 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Two lanes closed 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.


  • All lanes open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.
  • All lanes open 8 a.m. Sunday to 10 a.m. Monday.
  • One lane closed 11 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday.
  • One lane closed 11 p.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Sunday.
  • Two lanes closed 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Saturday.
  • Two lanes closed 2 a.m. Sunday to 8 a.m. Sunday.
(A.M.) AND (P.M.) HOURS!

Click to view map of all construction sites

The closures are the latest phase of Belt Parkway renovation, which began surrounding the Fresh Creek, Rockaway Parkway, and Paerdegat Basin Bridges in late 2009. Four more bridges will be overhauled in the coming years, with all work planned to conclude by the end of 2016. The other structures targeted by the project include the Nostrand Avenue Bridge, Gerritsen Inlet Bridge, Mill Basin Bridge, and Bay Ridge Avenue Bridge.

Work on the Gerritsen Inlet and Mill Basin Bridges will kick off mid-2010, while the Nostrand Avenue and Bay Ridge Avenue Bridges are slated for the second half of 2012, according to DOT documents (pdf).

The plans show the DOT is emphasizing increased safety, traffic flow, design aesthetics, and environmental protection as they go forward with the project.

Though the three bridges currently being worked on are the largest projects, commuters and boaters will likely experience the largest impact at the Mill Basin Bridge. Built circa 1940, the drawbridge has a 35-foot clearance. The new bridge will be a fixed structure with a 60-foot clearance. Lanes will be expanded by half a foot, and safety shoulders will be added in both directions. A new fender system will be installed to protect the bridge substructure from marine traffic.

Click to see illustrations of proposed Nostrand Ave Overpass

Sheepshead Bay residents will also see benefits from the Nostrand Avenue overpass renovations. Currently the support columns of the three span structure blocks the view of car traffic underneath. The proposal aims to turn it into a single span, removing the supports to improve sight lines. Nostrand Avenue will be widened and realigned. Meanwhile, on the Belt itself, the road will be widened to provide safety shoulders, parapets will be installed, and the corrugated metal guide rails will be replaced with a reinforced concrete median.

At Paerdegat Basin, the entire structure will be demolished and two new roadways will be built. New approach lanes will be constructed on new alignments, improving sight distances, and the eastbound bridge will have a dedicated bike lane. The existing bridge will remain in service until the new structures are built, and will then be demolished.

As six of the seven bridges sit alongside Gateway National Reserve, the DOT is also making a commitment to protecting the sensitive environment.

DOT will comply with Department of Environmental Protection requirements for the initiation of a long-term plan to increase wetlands, decrease pollution into the bay, and decrease the highways footprint around the rim of Jamaica Bay. An off-site mitigation plan has also been approved, focusing on compensating for wetland losses by increasing and improving the quality of habitats. Approximately 2.3 acres of land at Floyd Bennett Field will be cleaned of rubbish and debris and converted to wetland area.

For more details about the changes, check out the DOT’s plans (pdf), as well as’s report.

Related posts

  • Law

    I wonder how long these projects will take. I hope not as long as the ones on BQE…

  • Gene

    by the time they are complete we will have flying cars and the the belt will be obsolete

  • Arthur Borko

    I think all this is awesome but I have one primary question aimed at community leaders; Can we get Plumb Beach and the Sheepshead Canal get added to the offsite mitigation part of the project? It seems like a perfect fit if you ask me since plumb beach threatens the belt already and part of the problem is they way water flows in the area, including silt deposits at the mouth of the canal, just a thought!

  • Pimp

    Is this the section where the road has been repaved many times to cover up the potholes? From the picture it looks like there will be one bridge for east bound and one west bound.

    Here's something interesting that someone had told me. There are semaphores and traffic lights on the Belt Pkwy where there is no draw bridge. It turns out that these were suppose to replace the ones on the draw bridge by Flatbush. But there were some confusion and it was too late. So they went ahead and installed them at the wrong place.

    • Dan Mahoney

      Pimp, actually, there’s a logical reason for those gates and traffic lights, and it’s not because there was “supposed to be a drawbridge” there.

      The purpose of these signals is to allow oversize emergency vehicles to make U-turns to access the eastbound Belt Parkway. The bridge over the Paerdegat Basin is not strong enough to support the weight of fire engines and other emergency vehicles. If these vehicles need to respond to an emergency on the eastbound Belt Parkway (east of the bridge) they can enter the westbound Belt at Rockaway Parkway and U-turn in the eastbound direction. The signals and gates (upon activation) will stop both directions of traffic on the parkway to facilitate this U-turn.

  • Ned Berke

    Yes, it has been repaved MANY times. The bridge is in horrible condition. According to the DOT document, these overpasses were built 60 years ago when the Belt saw only about 20,000 vehicles a day. Today they see around 150,000. They just aren't holding up.

    And yes, you're right – there will be two bridges, one for each direction.

    I never heard that story before about the semaphores, but if that's true it's both hilarious and sad. I guess things don't change much!

  • Big Bird

    I travel the Belt at least five times a week. DOT needs to pave the road correctly. After every winter, potholes would creep up. Potholes are starting to pop up on the new section paved not too long ago. They should also find a way to get rid of that draw bridge by Flatbush. During the summer it can be a pain waiting for Richie Rich's yacht to sail by slowly. And they should install reflectors on the lane dividers.

  • Arthur Borko

    Big Bird I'm not sure you've read the entire post, or the information linked to it. All 7 bridges part of the Belt Parkway in South Brooklyn are being replaced between now and 2016. That includes the drawbridge, which is being replaced with a 60ft tall bridge.

    Unfortunately without research into new technology and new types of asphalt there really is nothing that can be done about the potholes except filling them and repaving the road every year. The Belt Parkway lies along a salt water body and as noted above faces 150,000 cars a day. I wouldn't be surprised if that estimate is low-balled too. The wear and tear that the Belt faces day after day, year after year is going to cause massive asphalt erosion especially in spots where the most pressure is applied.

    There are two primary reasons that the asphalt over the bridges is in the worst shape compared to other sections, even those as close as 50 feet away.

    #1: Water. The bridges are directly over water and thus get a constant spray and mist of salt and water spread over them. As water evaporates it leaves behind salt deposits. Salt is a very rough material and combined with the weight of the cars driving over grinds away the asphalt.

    #2 Pressure. When the highway is on the ground all the pressure from a vehicle on the road is spread to the earth. The kinetic energy released by a car as it travels along moves away from its source and spreads evenly in all directions. That's not the case on a bridge. With no direct connection the ground all that kinetic energy spreads out over a smaller area. Metal resonates more then regular earth does, so the kinetic energy bounces back and forth between the metal of the bridge and the asphalt and the car. The asphalt is right in the middle. All that kinetic energy going back and forth wears it down.

    Then again I could be wrong…and its all designed to fall apart so the city spends money over and over again….

  • Pingback: Tonight: Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Meeting | Sheepshead Bay News Blog

  • alknowles

    The Draw bridge will definitely not be missed. Hope they alert the press when they finally demolish it.

  • Pingback: 15-Minute Closures to Haunt Belt Parkway | Sheepshead Bay News Blog

  • Pingback: Video: Scavo Says “Beware” Belt Parkway Projects | Sheepshead Bay News Blog

  • Pingback: Three Year Closure For Rockaway Pkwy Belt Underpass | Sheepshead Bay News Blog

  • Pingback: Belt Drivers To Use Temporary Bridge For Three Years | Sheepshead Bay News Blog

  • Pingback: More Belt Parkway Construction Planned For April, Expect Lane Closures And Delays | Sheepshead Bay News Blog

  • Pingback: Sheepshead Bites » Blog Archive Anyone Notice One Of The New Belt Parkway Bridges Opened Last Night? » Sheepshead Bay News Blog

  • Pingback: Sheepshead Bites » Blog Archive Belt Parkway Bridge Project One Year Ahead Of Schedule » Sheepshead Bay News Blog

  • Pingback: Bensonhurst Bean » Blog Archive Attention Drivers: Lane Closures Scheduled For Belt Parkway At Bay Ridge Ave » Bensonhurst’s News Blog

  • Pingback: Bensonhurst Bean » Blog Archive Belt Parkway At Bay Ridge Avenue To Lose A Lane For 1.5 Years, Beginning Tomorrow » Bensonhurst’s News Blog