Construction on a Flushing bridge is set to begin later this month after years of being closed to vehicular traffic due to deep structural defects.
The bridge is located in the Murray Hill neighborhood at 149th Street between Roosevelt Avenue and 41st Avenue, and has been barricaded for five years. Construction will begin on Nov. 30.
State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky, Queens Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Nicole Garcia and representatives from the Korean American Association of Greater New York and the Korean American Association of Queens were on hand for the announcement last week.
Stavisky said that after five years, she is finally able to say there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the Murray Hill community.
“The closure of the 149th Street Bridge has been one of the most frustrating problems I have ever dealt with as a representative of this district,” Stavisky said.
Garcia said that the DOT appreciates the community’s patience during the process.
“Safety is the DOT’s number one priority and, with the planned construction of a new concrete deck, this bridge will once again serve as a safe and vital connector for this vibrant community,” Garcia said.
Parking meters will also be installed to ensure a quicker turnover of parking spots for patrons of local businesses.
A new two-lane bridge was set to open after a period of construction in 2012, but at that time it was found to be unsafe for cars to travel upon due to cracks on the concrete deck indicating deep damage at crucial architectural points.
Local businesses have reportedly suffered as a result of the decreased traffic on the street, with some even going out of business during this time.
According to officials, Gandhi Engineering—the firm responsible for design of the original work—is being sued by the city to recoup the initial funds spent on the work.