BY JACKIE STRAWBRIDGE
A small, cracked concrete path across the LIRR tracks in Murray Hill – otherwise known as the 149th Street Bridge – must be demolished and rebuilt.
Originally closed for demolition and construction in 2010, the bridge on 149th street at Roosevelt Avenue and 41st Avenue was scheduled to reopen in November 2011. However, after numerous delays, the DOT deemed the bridge unsafe for traffic due to cracks in the cement.
Last May, the DOT initiated litigation against the bridge designer – Ghandi Engineering – which is ongoing.
“Every time I see this, I get frustrated and angry about what’s been happening,” said Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Flushing).
Last Friday, Kim joined State Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing) and Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) to announce the results of a meeting with DOT officials, during which DOT confirmed that the bridge must be completely demolished and rebuilt.
“[The DOT is] in the design phase of a new plan for the bridge – it’s about 60 percent complete,” Stavinsky explained.
The design will take another two months to finish, at which point the bidding process will open. The new bridge is slated to open in November 2015.
“The agency continues to meet with local stakeholders on this, including at last week’s event, and we will continue to provide updates to the community as we work to reopen this important connection,” a spokesperson for the DOT said.
Kim, Stavisky and Koo were optimistic about the City’s dedication to rebuilding this bridge.
“We’ve heard these deadlines before,” Kim said, after outlining the DOT’s timeline. “The difference now is that we have a new administration that takes the outer-borough needs and outer-borough business more seriously.”
Reach Jackie Strawbridge at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JNStrawbridge.