Construction coming to Bay Ridge Avenue bridge

The Bay Ridge Avenue bridge under the Belt Parkway is about to undergo an extreme makeover.

Much needed construction will begin on the bridge within the next couple of months. The overhaul is part of an extensive project to revitalize all seven Belt Parkway bridges.

Frank Gallo, part of the Department of Transportation’s project management team, gave a presentation on the construction at Community Board 10’s Traffic and Transportation Committee’s meeting held on Monday, September 9.

The bridge, built in 1944, is “reaching the end of its useful life,” with severe corrosion of the structure itself and heavy deterioration on its underside. Gallo attributes this to the high concentration of pigeons that are currently roosting on the underside, as well as salt water.

Gallo said that the construction will minimize future maintenance of the bridge. While work goes on, Gallo promised that access to the pier as well as the Shore Road promenade, walkway and Owls’ Head Water Treatment Plant will not be affected.

The construction will include widening the travel lanes to 12 feet, widening the bridge’s cross section and using precast, pre-stressed, smooth, concrete bridge deck sections, instead of the current wood planks, which will deter pigeons.

“Motorists are not comfortable when lanes are narrow,” Gallo explained, adding that the concrete is precast “so we can do this job as quickly as possible.”

In addition, the roadways to each approach to the bridge will be resurfaced. Construction will be done in five stages over the course of about 22 months. No lanes will be closed. Instead, lanes of traffic will rotate around the sections of work being done.  No work is anticipated to be done during nights and weekends.

“Roadways will be replaced on both sides, eliminating the need to detour traffic into the community,” Gallo said. “All traffic will stay on the bridge.”

The contractor will have a staging area on a small portion of Parks Department land.  However, Gallo said that it will not encroach on the Narrows Botanical Garden.

“A fully licensed arborist will make sure that trees are protected,” Gallo said. “Environmental engineers will make sure that there are not environmental problems. Silk screens will be put up to avoid erosion in adjacent areas.”

Last but not least, the rusty blue siding and railing of the bridge will be replaced with a concrete Art Deco style parapet.

In addition, the underside of the bridge will have better lighting, with three lights on each side of the sidewalk, as well as a protective coating to prevent graffiti.

Construction is slated to begin within the next two months. Residents with any questions or concerns can contact DOT Community Liaison Jonathan Joseph at 347-702-6430, 347-203-9530 or by e-mailing .

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