The Marine Parkway Bridge closes so often overnight during the week, that it almost seems expected. Yet for those who don’t work the regular nine to five, or those with late-night holiday plans, many are simply fed up with the disruptive routine.
The Rockaway Times recently reached out to MTA Bridges & Tunnels to get the latest on the work being done to Rockaway’s connection to Brooklyn. Over the past two years, various work has been taking place on and around the Marine Parkway Bridge, which has been in operation since July 3, 1937. The 80-year-old structure has been in need of some TLC (tender loving care), as the last upgrade was in 2001, and the MTA has been diligently following through with repairs, ever so slowly. According to the MTA, the latest work being done, contributing to necessary overnight closures is for upgrades on the lift mechanism of the lift span of the bridge.
For weeks on end, the MTA has released announcements about weeknight closures, to carry out the work during hours that impact the least amount of people. Yet many have still felt the effects as traffic is regularly diverted to the Cross Bay Bridge, including the Q35 bus route. The latest round of closures continues through the morning of Friday, December 22.
Democratic District Leader Lew Simon claims he helped relieve the burden slightly during the closures that have been even more inconvenient during the holidays. The bridge closures had been set from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m., Monday through Friday. After receiving many complaints, Simon reached out to the MTA at the end of last week to ask for some more wiggle room during the holiday season. The MTA complied and the recent closings have begun at midnight, giving commuters an extra hour to cross the bridge.
The MTA has not yet announced another round of closures, but residents can expect it to continue into the new year. At this time, the MTA expects the overnight closures on weeknights to continue in 2018. When will it all be over? The MTA wouldn’t say, as the completion date is up in the air since construction is dependent on the weather. Additionally, on November 28, there was a small electrical fire on the bridge, forcing it to close for a few hours. However, this hiccup also caused construction to be delayed for a couple weeks, the MTA said.
In the meantime, the MTA asks everyone to continue to be patient. “We appreciate the patience of our neighbors and customers as we work to upgrade and modernize the Marine Parkway Bridge, the necessary upgrades will allow us to serve our customers for decades to come,” an MTA spokesperson said.
Continue to check MTA.info for future bridge closing announcements and updates.
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