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Photo: Anthony Giudice/QNS
Photo: Anthony Giudice/QNS
Community leaders believe the contractor for the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge project may be the reason for the delays.

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) emergency project to rehabilitate the deck of the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge still has yet to begin, three weeks after its proposed start date.

The emergency work — which was slated to begin after the Fourth of July holiday weekend — will replace the badly deteriorated deck of the bridge over the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) at Fresh Pond Road and Metropolitan Avenue on the Ridgewood/Middle Village border.

According to an email from the project’s community liaison Nancy Catapano, the project startup, which includes reviewing and approval of drawings with the LIRR and approval of vendors and subcontractors, has taken longer than expected and caused the delay in construction.

The email states that the installation of the underdeck shield below the bridge and above the railroad will start in August.

“The maintenance and protection of traffic signs for construction operations at street level are expected to be installed, but covered, in anticipation of commencement around Labor Day,” Catapano said in the email.

Before any work requiring lane closures or detours begins, a seven-day notice will be provided to area residents and businesses. All emergency services, first responders and public transit operators are currently being updated on the start of active construction on the bridge.

“I’m certainly looking forward to them beginning the actual work to replace the bridge deck,” said Gary Giordano, district manager of Community Board 5 (CB 5). “Especially since it’s obvious that ongoing deterioration of the bridge deck is taking place.”

A representative with the DOT said that the start of work on the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge has been pushed back in order to ensure the proper review and approval of the projected work. Work is expected to begin in late summer.

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