The $15 million project to fix up the 188th Street Bridge, which carries pedestrians over the Grand Central Parkway in Jamaica Estates, is expected to be completed four months ahead of schedule, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced.
In conjunction with Cuomo’s Drivers First initiative — which aims to minimize the impacts of construction on the traveling public — the bridge deck will be removed and replaced in a matter of 10 days by using pre-cast concrete deck panels which will accelerate the time that would be needed to pour and cure concrete on site.
“This project will help ensure this overpass remains safe and dependable for the thousands of motorists who cross it for years to come,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The accelerated construction schedule will reduce long-term inconveniences and put Drivers First.”
The use of the pre-cast panels also allows the concrete to cure without exposure to harsh weather conditions and vibrations from adjacent traffic, creating a stronger deck and extending its lifespan.
Residents of the area will be happy to know that there will be reduced overall noise and construction vehicles in and around the project area thanks to the shorted construction period.
“The accelerated timeline of the 188th Street Bridge rehabilitation will vastly reduce disruption to the surrounding communities,” said Melinda Katz, Queens Borough President. “The pre-cast deck panels and similar elements of accelerated bridge construction strategies set the bar of efficiency for future public works projects in New York. Motorists who use the Grand Central Parkway can soon look forward to a safer, better road experience thanks to this and many other projects under Governor Cuomo’s aggressive infrastructure prioritization.”
The bridge carries two travel lanes and a ten-foot-wide sidewalk in each direction, and the rehabilitation project includes the construction of a new bridge deck, low wall parapets and sidewalks. The bridge’s steel structure will also be repaired and painted. Two water main lines will be replaced, and new LED street lighting will be installed above and under the bridge. Long-term maintenance costs will be reduced and durability will be improved by reducing the number of bridge deck joints.
“We are delivering this project with an eye towards efficiency, in keeping with Governor Cuomo’s Drivers First initiative,” said Matthew J. Driscoll, New York State Department of Transportation commissioner. “A strong transportation infrastructure supports an active and vibrant economy, and we must plan for the future now by modernizing and enhancing this aging bridge.”
The bridge will be reduced to one travel lane in each direction during the 10-day deck replacement period, which will begin on Friday, July 22 at 9 p.m. through Monday, Aug. 1 at 5 a.m. The lane reduction will extend along 188th Street over the Grand Central Parkway from the eastbound service road to the westbound service road.
After the deck replacement, the south sidewalk will be closed for approximately three months so water mains can be replaced. The overall project is expected to be substantially complete this fall.