WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES MARCH 28, 2019 3
City plays wait-&-see on bridge project
BY MARK HALLUM
Community Board 5’s
reveled at the announced
completion date for the Grand Street
Bridge replacement with the window
Department of Transportation told
CB5 representatives that the rebuild
of the 115-year-old structure, which
has not been moveable since around
the time of Superstorm Sandy, will not
go into design until 2021, and work will
not even start until 2023.
“Is it gonna stand up that long?” one
attendee at the meeting asked, followed
by a question from CB5 Chair Vincent
Arcuri as to whether or not it will be a
fully operational moveable bridge.
On Jan. 22, the advisory body
received notifi cation from DOT that
the agency would be securing a fi rm
to fulfi ll an RFP put out in June for the
replacement of the aging structure
within the 90 days.
“The existing bridge does not
meet current structural, seismic
and geometric design standard
requirements,” the RFP stated. “Aft er
over 113 years, the bridge has reached
the end of its service life.”
The bridge was built in 1903. The
push to replace the Grand Street Bridge
has been 16 years in the making aft er
the hurricane wiped out its ability
to rotate, allowing larger boats to
pass through Newtown Creek and
connecting industrial facilities in the
south end of the waterway.
The current bridge is narrow at a 19
foot, 7 inch width, which CB5 District
Manager Gary Giordano gives credit to
drivers who manage the tight squeeze
between Maspeth and Brooklyn with
few confl icts.
“It is an example of how cooperative
one can be that people can stop and
let another vehicle go by. I wish other
drivers on other roads and bridges
were as considerate these drivers are.
We need more consideration on our
roads and bridges,” Giordano told the
Ridgewood Times in January.
The RFP further illustrated that the
electrical components are antiquated,
the fenders are deteriorated and the
structural state of the bridge is not
up to task for its current workload.
Contractors awarded the contract will
be required to provide a replacement
with a minimum 75-year lifespan.
Although in the fi rst decade of the
bridge’s service it was heavily utilized,
opening 5,000 times in 1918 alone, it has
not been recorded to have done this
Average clearance for boats to pass
under the bridge is 9 feet, according
to Giordano. But high tide is the only
they are able to since low tide makes
the creek much too shallow.
The project is to be funded in its
entirety by the U.S. Department of
Transportation Federal Highway
Administration, and the original plan
was to see completion by 2026.
The span has been shut down on
recent weekends, and twice last fall,
for further repairs.
A rebuild of the Grand Street Bridge on the Maspeth/Brooklyn border
won’t be started until at least 2023, Community Board 5’s Transportation
Committee learned on March 26.
Photo: Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech/RIDGEWOOD TIMES