2005-04-01 / Community

Cross Bay Bridge Set For Major Rehab

MTA Bridges and Tunnels is planning a $40 million upgrade of the nearly 35-year old Cross Bay Bridge connecting the Rockaway peninsula and Broad Channel in Queens. The main features of the overhaul are the replacement of the entire six lane roadway deck above the navigation channel in the middle of the bridge, the rehabilitation of the rest of the roadway deck and the replacement of the bridge’s drainage system while the bridge continues to serve more than 19,000 daily vehicles. The project is scheduled to begin in late 2006.

Under this project, improvements will also be made below the roadway deck to the bridge’s substructure, including the portions of the structure that are underwater. Concrete pile caps and piles will be repaired above and below the waterline.

“The investment we are making in the Cross Bay Bridge is part of the MTA Capital Program to keep our infrastructure in a state of good repair,” said MTA Chairman Peter S. Kalikow. “Just as we did when working on the Marine Parkway Bridge-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, we will keep our commitment to the Rockaway community to balance the need to upgrade the bridge with the need to provide continued bridge access throughout the project.”

The Cross Bay Bridge is unique in the MTA Bridges and Tunnels family as it is a reinforced concrete fixed bridge. Most MTA B&T Facilities are steel suspension bridges.

“Much of the work on this project will be conducted from barges alongside the bridge, making it easier than the recent Marine Parkway Bridge project to remove and replace sections of the roadway deck while maintaining traffic on the span,” said MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Michael C. Ascher. “Also, the pedestrian walkway and Rockaway promenade of the bridge which were recently rehabilitated will remain open throughout the construction period.”

The planned upgrades include replacement of the bridge’s expansion joints with new armored joints, a new center median barrier and the retrofitting of the bridge to resist forces from a seismic event. All bridge lighting will be replaced and a new drainage system will be installed. The bridge’s concrete structures will be given long term protection against the harsh salt water environment and all barriers will either be replaced or repaired. The current Cross Bay Bridge opened in 1970, replacing the original 1939 drawbridge. More than 19,000 vehicles travel over the Cross Bay Bridge daily.

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