The plans to replace a ramshackle bridge over a toxic creek won’t be drawn up until 2016, officials said.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) plan for reconstruction of a 100-year-old bridge that connects Brooklyn and Queens won’t enter the planning phase for two more years, according to a DOT spokesman.
The Grand Street Bridge spans the Newtown Creek—a federal Superfund site—and connects Gardner Avenue in Brooklyn and 47th street in Queens.
Built in 1903, the narrow bridge is a nominally two-way road that has required constant maintenance over the years. A reconstruction of the bridge would widen the bridge and also reinforce it to better withstand the weight of modern cars. Locals were skeptical.
“We’ve been through a design phase before. A lot of projects have been stalled for too long. And this project has been stalled for too long,” said Gary Giordano, district manager in Community Board 5, expressing skepticism about the department’s plans for reconstruction. He noted that the bridge on the Queens side is in Maspeth where there are many industrial manufacturing businesses.
And with the businesses comes a high volume of truck traffic that use the bridge everyday.
“This is a bridge that cannot accommodate two large vehicles going in opposite directions. It doesn’t accommodate today’s type of traffic,” Giordano said. The narrow bridge is only big enough for one truck to pass through at a time but since there are no traffic lights to alternate traffic, Giordano believes that the area is very dangerous.
The DOT promised to maintain the bridge while the agency plans to plan.
“The agency continues to monitor the structure and make any necessary short-term repairs prior to the start of this project,” a DOT spokeswoman said. “DOT will also continue to update local stakeholders, including the community boards, on any temporary closures required for repair work.”