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2018-01-04 / Other News

Atlantic Avenue Bridge Starts Three- Year Overhaul

By Marley Paul

Community Board 5 met during the holidays to close out 2017 at P.S. 7 last week. As Mayor Bill de Blasio’s rezoning efforts continue to push forward, Community Board 5 (CB5) Chairman Andre T. Mitchell vows to become a watchdog during the extensive process. The board held its final general board meeting of 2017 on Wednesday, December 27th and heard from the Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding an update on the latest project in East New York.

Over a year and a half since last briefing CB5 on the proposed Rehabilitation of the Atlantic Avenue Bridge, the DOT is preparing to get underway with the project in the coming weeks. A brass of project representatives attended the meeting at P.S. 7 Abraham Lincoln School at 858 Jamaica Avenue to meet with the board and community.

The bridge, located on Atlantic Avenue spanning from Eastern Parkway to Georgia Avenue, was built in 1942 but hasn’t had major renovations since 1985, according to the DOT. Mitchell welcomed this particular project, stating residents can’t complain about poor conditions and object to enhancements.

Atlantic Avenue Bridge over LIRR’s East New York station. A long list of issues were identified within the project’s scope. Highlighted among the biggest changes were complete replacement of the roadway deck, which allows entry onto the bridge, and the curb and median barriers, in addition to repairing walls, steel beams and aging joints.

As a result, the complete project, which is broken down into three stages (pre-stage, stage 1, stage 2a and 2b), is estimated to be a 42-month job with a completion date of summer 2021. The pre-stage is currently underway and a rough timeline expects stage 1 to begin next fall and stage 2 picking up by summer 2019.

With the first stage on the horizon, traffic ramifications are also impending. Lane closures will take place on the bridge’s service lanes in order to create work zones for construction; therefore, all parking and or stopping will be prohibited on the bridge’s service lanes on Atlantic Avenue from Eastern Parkway to Georgia Avenue until project completion. Starting January 8th, existing signs will be replaced with “No Stopping Anytime - Temporary Construction” signs, effective January 15th.

The DOT has applied to the NYPD for traffic control agents at intersections of both sides on Eastern Parkway and Georgia Avenue, respectively, to help ease congestion.

The Long Island Railroad, which runs directly underneath the bridge for its East New York station, and the nearby above ground “L” train are not expected to be significantly affected during construction, which will take place mostly during the day. The LIRR has began installing protective barriers to guard the tracks and anticipates minor shutdowns related to the project during off-peak hours.

Last week’s CB5 meeting went without quorum, tabling voting on recommendations until the next meeting, which is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, January 24th at P.S./I.S. 171 at 528 Ridgewood Avenue.

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