Monday, September 15, 2008

Bayside pedestrian bridge cause for concern

The future of the 84-year-old 216th Street Long Island Rail Road pedestrian overpass in Bayside may be short-lived if the city decides to tear it down and not replace it.

That is one of the options before Community Board 11 when it holds a hearing on the overpass at its Oct. 6 meeting. The board’s Transportation Committee will be making a recommendation following its session on Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. at 46-21 Little Neck Parkway in the board offices. The public must reserve space by calling (718) 225-1054.

Bayside LIRR overpass debated

According to District Manager Susan Seinfeld, the Department of Transportation is asking C.B. 11 to vote on two options: Either tear the bridge down and don’t replace it or completely rebuild it, making it handicap accessible in a multi-million-dollar project.

Built in 1924, the overpass has been slowly decaying over the years, with only minor repairs made. Users say it is rickety, but offers them a straight path from north of the structure to Northern Boulevard.

The bridge’s condition has come under criticism at least since 1993, according to Skala. By 1998, the DOT and the LIRR were still arguing over who had jurisdiction over it. Eventually, the DOT promised to repair it although neither side would claim responsibility for replacing it.

Finally, the DOT agreed to be in charge of new work, which was supposed to begin in 1998. Four years later, it was decided to replace the entire span, but that work also stalled.

At the end of 2005, the city announced it was rebuilding the span the following fall. Now, three years later, plans have changed again.


Anonymous said...

CB11's Transportation Cmte. (led by a retired structural engineer) determined that the structural integrity of the bridge was very much intact. They determined that the bridge needs a cosmetic overhaul and not total replacement.

Total replacement would cost the city millions, while repairing it would cost a mere fraction of that.

CB11 already voted on the proposal and sent the above recommendations to DOT.

The bridge sits adjacent to a NYC Landmarked cemetery, ancestral burying ground of the Lawrence family that settled the area in the 1660's. The land at the cemetery has never been developed in it's history.

An ADA-compliant bridge would create a massive, unsightly (read: Queens Crap) structure that would mar any semblance of beauty left at the cemetery.

Besides, the bridge hardly gets any use whatsoever. It's the bridge to nowhere. Mostly a hangout for kids and graffiti.

Investigate further how the DOT gave contracts to a single co. to build pedestrian bridges throughout the City... tweeding much?

The folks of Bayside would like their old bridge (built by the Pennsylvania Railroad mind you) either repaired or removed. For the sake of the few folks who do use it, repaired first, removed second.

What we don't want is this huge helix in our midst. Can you imagine how trashed that will look in a few yrs and remain so for 50 more?

Anonymous said...

If I remember right, there is a Right of way issue, and that the LIRR was only allowed to build if they put in and maintained a bridge there, forever