Brooklyn’s bridges are collapsing — and some of the ricketiest ones are also the most heavily utilized.
Belt Parkway-connected overpasses at Gerritsen Inlet, Mill Basin, Bedford Avenue, Sheepshead Bay Road, and Nostrand Avenue are among the most heavily trafficked of New York State’s many structurally flawed crossings, according to new analysis of the federal government’s Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) data.
The report, conducted by American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black, shows cars, trucks and school buses cross New York’s 2,012 structurally compromised bridges 16.2 million times every day — and that the most heavily traveled of them are concentrated in and around Brooklyn.
Last year, a report found that a total of 240 Brooklyn bridges were dangerously run down, including several along the Belt Parkway, currently under construction through the Seven Bridges Project. Bedford Avenue and Sheepshead Bay Road crossings are not included in the Seven Bridges construction.
In the latest analysis, Black paints a particularly urgent picture for New York’s bridges, referencing the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF) — which has suffered several revenue shortfalls between 2008 and 2014, and has been bailed out with nearly $65 billion — due to expire at the end of May, unless Congress takes action.
“Many of the most heavily traveled bridges are nearly 50 years old. Elected officials can’t just sprinkle fairy dust on America’s bridge problem and wish it away,” Black said. “It will take committed investment by legislators at all levels of government.”
While these bridges may not be imminently unsafe, ARTBA believes that signs should be posted so the public understands they have structural deficiencies that need repair.
See the full list of New York’s most heavily traveled, structurally unsound bridges here.