Temporary Belt Bridge Will Save 18 Months
One of the seven Belt Parkway bridges currently under restoration until 2015 is the Fresh Creek Bridge near the Pennsylvania Avenue exit. The New York City Department of Transportation announced plans this week to build a temporary bridge adjacent to the current structure that will reduce construction time by 18 months.
In a U.S. Coast Guard public notice, it was announced that they had received an application from DOT for the approval of a temporary bridge. The bridge wasn’t part of the original design plans submitted in 2008 that detailed DOT’s intent to replace Fresh Creek Bridge, which stands over the waterway connecting to the outskirts of Jamaica Bay.
The temporary bridge, U.S. Coast Guard says, will be constructed to expedite the repairs that could be shortened by a year and a half. The plan is to shift the current westbound lanes of the Belt Parkway to the temporary bridge and move the east bound traffic and pedestrian path to the current westbound lanes to allow for demolition and construction of the current eastbound side of the bridge. Once completed the east bound traffic will return to its normal location while westbound cars remains on the temporary bridge while the other half of the bridge is demolished and completed.
Overall, the Belt Parkway’s seven bridges will be repaired in three phases lasting through 2015. One lane on each of these bridges will be closed on weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m.; two lanes will be closed overnight from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. One lane is also expected to be closed on weekends from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. to allow for the repairs. DOT officials anticipate the repairs will reduce the current accident rate on these sections of the Belt Parkway.