Bridge Work Ahead

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The MTA’s Bridges and Tunnels is set to begin a capital construction project to reconstruct the nearly 50- year-old Rockaway Point Boulevard Overpass at the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge. The agency will be using an accelerated construction timeline that will see work completed by the end of this year.

“This is a design/build project that will accelerate the design and reconstruction of the overpass by building a temporary bridge structure, followed by demolition and reconstruction of the old overpass and then removal of the temporary bridge before the end of the 2015 construction season,” MTA Bridges and Tunnels Vice President and Chief Engineer Joe Keane said. “This method of accelerating the reconstruction of the overpass will shorten the construction presence in the area and minimize impacts to motorists.”

The $13.9 million project will apply a similar detour method used in 2011 when Bridges and Tunnels rebuilt the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge’s Harlem River Drive ramp.

A temporary overpass is in the process of being constructed in front of the current Rockaway Point Boulevard Overpass, which is used by motorists to access the Brooklynbound side of the bridge and for those traveling from Beach Channel Drive to the Breezy Point section of the Rockaways.

Once constructed, traffic will be shifted onto the temporary overpass roadway and the existing overpass will be demolished and reconstructed. This work will require some full, overnight closures of the Marine Parkway Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, with detours to the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Motorists will be given advance warning via electronic signs and on the Bridges and Tunnels page of the MTA website at www.mta.info. Customers are encouraged to sign up for MTA email or text alerts on the MTA website under Customer Self Service.

All current lanes of traffic will be maintained throughout the project, resulting in minimal impact to drivers once the temporary overpass is built and traffic is shifted. This is expected to take place late spring or early summer. The entire reconstruction and removal of the temporary overpass roadway is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving, said Marine Parkway Facility Engineer Lloyd Drummond.

Replacement of the old overpass roadway, which was originally built in 1967, is necessary. “The concrete roadway slab and steel that supports the overpass have been in service for nearly a half-century and are deteriorated from being in a salty sea environment,” Drummond said.

The work will include installation of a new galvanized steel superstructure, bearings, pedestals, concrete median barrier and new concrete roadway deck as well as repairs to the abutments and piers, and new roadway signs. Brighter, longer-lasting LED lights will also be added beneath the overpass and to all existing light poles.

In addition to reconstructing the Rockaway Point Boulevard Overpass, the ramps and roadways leading to and from the overpass will be upgraded with new safety impact devices and guiderails. The Jacob Riis Pedestrian Bridge, which was also built in 1967, will also be rehabilitated. The pedestrian bridge work will include concrete repairs, cleaning and painting of the structural steel, repairs to handrails and fencing and restoration and repairs of bearings.

The Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial pedestrian walkway will remain open throughout the work. The contract was awarded in January to contractor John Picone Construction of Lawrence, Long Island, and designer KS Engineers.

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