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.