A pedestrian bridge connecting one side of Bayside to another must be demolished soon, city officials announced at Monday’s Community Board 11 meeting.
Two representatives from the Department of Transportation (DOT) informed residents on Monday night that a pedestrian bridge in Bayside will soon be closed to public use and must be removed due to safety concerns.
The bridge connects 216th Street, which is interrupted by Long Island Rail Road’s Port Washington line, by allowing pedestrians to safely walk over the tracks.
Richard Gipetti of the DOT Queens Borough Commissioner’s office announced at the Nov. 7 meeting in Bayside that the bridge will be closed to pedestrian use due to unsafe conditions. Gipetti explained that an inspection done by the agency back in 2006 revealed that the bridge “was coming to the end of its usable life.”
“At the [most recent] inspection we found that [the bridge] is coming upon that time and that the pedestrian bridge can be closed as early as the end of this month,” Gipetti said.
One attendee asked what the DOT intends to do upon closing the bridge.
“The intention is to remove it,” the DOT representative said. “It’s going to be closed and we’re going to begin the time frame of removal.”
When asked when the bridge will be removed, the DOT did not have a definitive answer.
“That time frame hasn’t been determined yet,” the DOT representative said. “We’re working with the Long Island Rail Road to figure out a time that doesn’t infringe on their schedule.”
Gipetti pointed out that, should the bridge be rebuilt, it must also be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant and will be built to accommodate individuals with disabilities. Because of that, the footprint of the bridge itself will need to be enlarged.
“In the interest of safety, DOT anticipates closing the 216th Street footbridge by December,” said a DOT spokesperson, who said that there are no plans to replace the bridge currently in place.