The bridge carrying Metropolitan Avenue and Fresh Pond Road above the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) on the Ridgewood/Middle Village border will be receiving a new deck, members of the Community Board 5 (CB 5) Transportation Services and Public Transit committees learned Tuesday night.
During the session at the board’s Glendale office, CB 5 District Manager Gary Giordano indicated that the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) Division of Bridges is willing to work with the community to fix the aging structure, and keep all of the train tracks below the bridge.
“They are agreeable, but they have to do it under an emergency project to try to get us what we want,” Giordano said, “which will mean, not a total bridge reconstruction, but just replacing the deck.”
The plan for the emergency project consists of removing the existing deck off of the bridge structure, inspecting the condition of the current structure, fixing what they need to fix and then constructing the new deck on top of the structure.
This type of project would benefit both the DOT and the community, committee members noted. The time frame would be much shorter than if DOT were to do a full reconstruction of the bridge.
Also, the DOT would not have to go through the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) if they agree to leave the tracks in place that they originally planned on removing, something the community has opposed for a long time.
“They would have had to go through ULURP because they would have required an easement if they were going to take away one of those tracks,” Giordano said. “So, if they don’t have to take away one of those tracks, or if they don’t intend to and they are going to go along with us, then they don’t have to go through that Uniform Land Use Review Process.”
The lifespan of this new deck is projected to be around 20 years, instead of a 60-year lifespan with a full bridge reconstruction.
The DOT’s plan is not set in stone as of yet, but this is the route they intend to go, CB 5 Chairperson Vincent Arcuri noted.