Southern Brooklyn

DOT Finishes 1st Phase Of Belt Parkway Bridges Project

Photo by Arthur Borko

The following is a press release from the Department of Transportation:

New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner (DOT) Janette Sadik-Khan today announced the completion of the first phase of a $365 million contract started in 2009 to reconstruct three significantly deteriorated bridges on the Belt Parkway, which carry 150,000 cars a day through Brooklyn and Queens to John F. Kennedy International Airport and Nassau County to the east and to the Gowanus Expressway and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to the west. Once notorious for their rough condition, the bridges at Paerdegat Basin, Rockaway Parkway and Fresh Creek Basin are the first of seven structures undergoing complete reconstruction. Eastbound traffic this week shifted onto the first of two new parallel structures passing over the Paerdegat Basin. Westbound traffic is scheduled to shift onto the formerly eastbound span on December 28 to permit construction to begin on the parallel structure which is expected to be completed in 2013. In another contract milestone, westbound traffic was shifted onto the new bridge over Rockaway Parkway on December 5.

“New York continues to grow and we need to make sure our streets, highways and bridges keep up to keep the city moving,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “Thanks to the Mayor’s commitment to investing in our infrastructure, our bridges are in the best condition they’ve been in a generation, and these Belt Parkway bridges will continue to serve the needs of New Yorkers for years to come.”

“The New York City Department of Transportation has done a terrific job tackling the Reconstruction of Seven Bridges on the Belt Parkway,” said Congressman Bob Turner (NY-09). “These projects are necessary for the safety of drivers in our community. The NYCDOT’s implementation of a phase system, traffic mitigation solutions, and environmental monitoring, has made it possible to enhance the safety and beauty of one of our most important highways while minimizing the impact on the surrounding Wetlands and national park, as well as the every-day commuting needs of Queens residents.”

The $365 million federal- and City-funded contract is part of the $5 billion the Bloomberg administration has spent on bridge rehabilitation and is one of more than 775 infrastructure projects the DOT has started in the last four years to bring the city’s infrastructure into a state of good repair. Earlier this month, an $11.7 million access ramp over the Belt Parkway at East 8th Street/Guider Avenue opened, improving access to the Belt for vehicles. Additional investment in the Belt Parkway Bridges this year included a $2.9 million component rehabilitation of the bridge over Ocean Avenue and $5 million for protective coating of five spans between Bay 8th Street and E.14th Street. Work on the Paerdegat Basin, Rockaway Parkway and Fresh Creek Basin bridges is scheduled for completion in 2014. The next contract in the Belt Parkway project will include reconstruction of the bridge at Gerritsen Inlet starting in 2012, followed by the Mill Basin Drawbridge in 2013.

The first phase required the manpower and expertise of construction workers, engineers, inspectors and administrative personnel. Among the employment highlights of the project:

  • Since the project began in October 2009, an average of 296 construction workers has been employed each month, reaching a high of 427 construction workers during September of 2011.
  • From October 2009 through November 2011, there have been approximately 510,300 man-hours of labor spent working on the replacement of the Paerdegat Basin, Rockaway Parkway and Fresh Creek Basin bridges.

The seven bridges are all original structures built starting in 1939. The annual bridge condition report released earlier this year found that all of the City’s 787 bridges are in a state of good repair or have rehabilitation projects underway or planned.

Comment policy


  1. Markowitz is anti-bike, so anyone who differs from his position is anti-car. Somehow the DOT’s, and Sadik-Khan’s, position that all human beings should have a safe place and that different modes of transport can share roadway makes him forget about the massive improvement to road infrastructure the DOT accomplishes. But then again, this is the guy who shows up at graduations with a plastic lightsaber and yells, “may the force be with you.”

  2. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA New York continues to grow and yet we did not ADD any lanes when we completely could of? Drive over the area from Mill Basin to Starett and see for yourself. What a fricken joke!  Just a pet project to make the emperor and his bike lane queen richer. Anyone noticing all those new countdown traffic light timers going up all over brooklyn? Where’s that money coming from? The city is broke? Could fool me. None of this was done for the citizens. All of this was done to make the emperor richer. 

  3. The bridges have exceeded their useful life and had to be replaced. This is called maintenance. Te alternative would have been to wait for them to collapse like Miller Highway. The Ccity learned their lesson from that one. Rebuilding these bridges were a necessity. That does not make te City pro-car. They should have expanded the roadway to four lines each way to allow for future widening of the road to accommodate summer and rush hour traffic and they didn’t which was foolhardy. The road is now carrying ten times the amount of traffic it did in 1950 when it was widened from two to three lanes and now we will have that same number for the next century and no one is talking about a new mass transit line either. Allowing 4 lanes each way would not even be considered pro-car, just sensible planning. Guess we should just bike from Sheepshead Bay to Long Island.

  4. I was making commentary on Markowitz and his BS claim that the DOT is anti-car, not the city. Nor am I advocating that everyone commute to LI by bike, I guess my position as pro-bike makes you think that bikes are the answer to all of life’s problems, they’re not. Proper planning is.

    On the topic of sensible planning, your extra lane is not. Expanding lanes seems like a good way to accommodate extra traffic until you realize that the widened roadway would still connect to 3 lane traffic, creating bottlenecks at each side. You’d actually create worse traffic flow due to forced lane merges. Think about how far back traffic slows down when there’s an accident on the road; that’s how poor an idea an extra lane is. You can’t plan roads one mile at a time with complete disregard for the rest of the roadway.

  5. They’re currently doing work along the entire length of the Belt. The bridges are the hardest part to expand. I think they should’ve made the entire thing 4 lanes, beginning with the bridges (even if they keep the fourth lane closed until the entirety is complete). But that highway desperately needs additional lanes.

  6. there should be no doubt that Mayor Bloombucks and his traffic commish are anti car; I would go so far as to say that Mayor B. probably would like to BAN privately owned autos from Manhattan except for limos, yellow cabs, Black Cars and busses. Somehow he has bought into the idea that bicycles are a viable option for commuters instead of expanding mass transit and maintaining and repairing the streets and highways.  For every bicycle zealot riding across the WillyB and Brooklyn Bridge, that’s one less fare supporting the subways.

  7. it seems to be more of a war of on personalities than of using common sense. People “hate” a person using a bicycle because they hate the mayor and his appointees. There is just so much space in NYC. It can’t all be parking lots and mega roads. Duh? Efficient transportation is the goal for everyone, and not every destination is best reached by any one method. Every short errand by bicycle is one less person taking a seat on the bus/train, one less car in the backed up traffic, one more parking space near your destination, so you don’t have to circle the block or risk a double parking ticket, and more space to drive in. I use all methods of transportation, depending on time, distance, destination, weather and load to be hauled. Some of my relatively close destinations are prohibitively long and clumsy by car or by MTA, some are best served by car service, who hasn’t experienced this?

  8. The part between Cross Bay and Knapp where the extra lanes are needed is where there are no service roads so actually there would be no merges needed.

  9. Umm, more car lanes would require a long expensive study. not to mention that additional capacity would only generate more traffic and congestion.  And I’m not sure how you think this project will personally benefit Bloomberg and Sadhik-Kahn.  Sounds like you’re just angry and misguided.

  10. how can more lanes be added when there isnt enough space in some areas? not that it isnt a good idea.
    i also think there should be a high enogh wall that way when there is an accident on one side of the parkway, retards on the other will not stop to look thus causinf rubbernecking.
    folks, if you cant help the people, dont freking look, morons

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