Construction. Construction. Construction. I was almost late to work one day last week and my secretary said, “Beth, you are never this late. Is everything okay?” I replied, “Everything is fine, just my ramp is closed to get onto the Cross Bay Bridge.” She replied, (and she does not live in the Rockaways), “Isn’t that the Marine Parkway Bridge that is always closed?” I told her that “yes that bridge is also an issue for my friends who must commute to Brooklyn from Rockaway, but now they are working on this bridge as well.”
It actually has not been that bad. I simply take the road past Madelaine Chocolate and go under the El and make the left to get onto the bridge. I leave pretty early for work so it is not that bad, but from what I heard on Facebook, it gets quite hectic at busier times of the day with people running the light, and making the left turn to get onto the bridge from the right lane. The word is even yellow buses are not following traffic laws.
I also hear that it is hectic by the Bungalow Bar where people are whipping the U-turns to get onto the ramp either right after the divider or are driving through McDonald’s. This area was dangerous before the bridge closings. I just hope no one gets hurt.
I am curious though, why the bridge needs these repairs? Wasn’t the bridge just redone about ten years ago? Why do we have to have multiple ramps closed that are part of an evacuation route? Allegedly they are replacing joints, barriers and pavement.
I am also curious how long this construction is going to take? According to the MTA notification alert, it will continue through the spring…vague. Can you imagine the traffic by the Bungalow Bar in the summer if the ramps are still closed? I can only imagine the accidents that will take place when people want to make a U-turn to get onto the ramp. And I hope there is not a major emergency and emergency vehicles need to get into or out of Rockaway quickly.
I tweeted the MTA and a few of our elected officials. The MTA immediately got back to me and attached the notification handout. From what I read, the notification is incorrect. It states that the northbound ramp from the east will be closed at first and I believe that is the ramp that is open…I commented on the tweet and asked to who I could speak to in more detail and that tweet went unanswered. I also did my tweeting and emailing late as I am not as prepared as my colleague, Dr. Peter Galvin. He writes his columns in advance. I am always getting the column in just in the nick of time.
From my research, I found out you can sign up for alerts about the bridge closures at www.mymtaalerts.com.