Southern Brooklyn

Belt Parkway Bridge Project One Year Ahead Of Schedule

Source: DOT

Who would have ever imaged that the Department of Transportation’s ambitious Seven Bridges project would be ahead of schedule? Way back when the project began in 2009, our readers and community leaders expressed concern that the seven-year plan would stretch into the long haul.

But, gift of gifts, the reconstruction project is one year ahead of schedule, according to DOT authorities.

In an e-mail update on the project, their outreach team wrote:

Miscellaneous punch list work remains, but no restrictions of traffic are anticipated outside of the daily, permitted lane closures through the completion of the project in October 2014. NYCDOT would like to thank the public and motorist for their patience and we are glad to report that the project is a year ahead of schedule.

The agency expects to hit the latest milestone on Wednesday, August 21, when they will announce all major work is officially complete on the first three bridges: Paerdegat Basin, Rockaway Parkway and Fresh Creek Basin, covering the bridges between exits 11 and 14.

Meanwhile, work will soon begin on the dismantling of the next batch of bridges, eventually seeing the replacement of the Nostrand Avenue Bridge, Gerritsen Inlet Bridge, Mill Basin Bridge, and Bay Ridge Avenue Bridge.

Click to see illustrations of proposed Nostrand Ave Overpass

As we wrote in 2010:

The plans show the DOT is emphasizing increased safety, traffic flow, design aesthetics, and environmental protection as they go forward with the project.

Though the three bridges currently being worked on are the largest projects, commuters and boaters will likely experience the largest impact at the Mill Basin Bridge. Built circa 1940, the drawbridge has a 35-foot clearance. The new bridge will be a fixed structure with a 60-foot clearance. Lanes will be expanded by half a foot, and safety shoulders will be added in both directions. A new fender system will be installed to protect the bridge substructure from marine traffic.

Sheepshead Bay residents will also see benefits from the Nostrand Avenue overpass renovations. Currently the support columns of the three span structure blocks the view of car traffic underneath. The proposal aims to turn it into a single span, removing the supports to improve sight lines. Nostrand Avenue will be widened and realigned. Meanwhile, on the Belt itself, the road will be widened to provide safety shoulders, parapets will be installed, and the corrugated metal guide rails will be replaced with a reinforced concrete median.

The DOT has also made some alterations in response to community concerns. In Bergen Beach, residents complained that the new roadway configuration made visible to residents the rapid succession of headlights from the vehicles. The DOT has installed 392 feet of 6-foot-tall “glare fencing” to respond to the concern:

Source: DOT

What do you think of the new bridges, and how the DOT has managed the project?

Comment policy


  1. I imagine the 7 year estimate went something like this:

    “Okay, here we have 1 year’s worth of actual work which, as the men and women of the DOT, we can probably complete in about 3 years. So, lets just tell them we’ll do it in 6 years because that number sounds reasonable. But wait, I have an idea… What if we tell them 7 years, and then shock the world when it’s done in just 6? They’ll like us more then right?”

    Am I being too skeptical, or is this the more likely situation, as opposed to the DOT getting something done ahead of a reasonably-set schedule?

  2. Considering that for the next 4 years traffic will be coming to a near stand still between Flatbush Avenue and Knapp Street at nearly all times, this seems way to long of an inconvenience to drivers. Whether local or traveling through. Still do not understand how it was not widened to at least 4 lanes in both directions. There was plenty of room available for 8 lanes across and for the blke lane with room to spear.

  3. I would just like to know how a 35 story apartment house is going to be built in one year near the Berkley Center and it took seven years to build a one-story structure in Marine Park?

  4. How is it one year ahead of schedule the 2010 DOT document shows construction excluding landscaping o be concluded in October 2014 which is still the current estimate. That says on time to me, not one year ahead of schedule.

    I also can’t understand how landscaping should take two years? Did they cut a year off that?

  5. The new roadways and bridges look great. Over the last few months, they’ve started to build a new bridge and clear away the trees, bushes etc. from the west bound side of the parkway about a half a mile from the Knapp Street exit. It looks like the westbound traffic will ride on what was once the shoulder of the parkway. I’m sorry that I don’t know the official name of the last bridge on the westbound side of the parkway before Knapp Street.

    Unfortunately these projects impact traffic making it miserable to use the parkway while the construction is going on. I guess we just have to have patience. Judging by the just completed projects, it seems to me like it’s worth the wait.

  6. in engineering school, my favorite class- engineering economy – if anyone ever ask how long it would take you to finish a job…take time and multiply by 2, 3 or whatever is your safety factor number…aka the time you can milk for OT while sitting around doing nothing

  7. Real Estate priorities. This is N.Y remember, no one is going to gain financially from a one story building in Marine.


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