2012-01-20 / Top Stories

Marine Park Bridge Lifts In Order

By Nicholas Briano

The next phase of the Jamaica Bay marshlands restoration project means more bridge lifts and potential delays in your everyday commute over the Marine Parkway Bridge, according to the US Army Corps of Engineers, who will oversee the restoration.

The Yellow Bar Hassock Marsh Island Restoration Project in Jamaica Bay, which began this week, aims to replenish the vanishing marsh islands within the Bay. As a result, the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge will be intermittently raised to facilitate transporting heavy loads of sand by barge to reach Jamaica Bay through the waterway inlet.

The barges will be used to transfer necessary sand to the site, but require clearance under the bridge to safely allow the vessels to travel. The bridge can be raised 95 feet in two minutes and provide clearance up to 150 feet at mean high water. Fifteenminute delays, however, can be expected each time the bridge is lifted, through the end of February.

According to the Corps, to minimize the impact to daily commuters during rush hour, the bridge lifts will occur primarily during off peak hours, when there are the fewest number of vehicles on the road. However, the barges aren’t always able go under the bridge at non-peak hours which can result in delays potentially during rush hours.

“The Corps is committed to this work and will make every effort to minimize the inconvenience to the public from the bridge raisings,” said Col. John R. BoulĂ© II, the Army Corps’ New York District Commander. “The overall project will have a significant positive impact on Jamaica Bay, which will last decades beyond construction completion.”

The $19 million restoration will take place on the north side of Yellow Bar Marsh. In order to complete the project, a large section of pipeline was submerged on December 29 from the northern end of Yellow Bar Marsh to a point off the tip of the Rockaway peninsula.

Previous marsh island restoration activities occurred in January 2010 when the bridge was lifted intermittently to facilitate the safe transfer of sand by barge to restore Elders Island.

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