Repairs on Metropolitan Avenue Bridge deck will finally begin at the end of January

Photo by Anthony Giudice/QNS

It seems like starting over again.

More than 6 months after it was first announced that the city would begin work to rehabilitate the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge deck on the Ridgewood/Middle Village border, officials said that repairs should finally get underway this month.

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

The city first announced the work in January 2016 and hoped to have Stage 1 of repairs completed before MTA’s work on the M train begins in summer 2017, which will involve shuttle buses traveling along Metropolitan Avenue.

It was then rescheduled for August due to a delay in the review and approval of drawings with the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), which owns the tracks, and approval of vendors and subcontractors. The work was further delayed until October due to the contractor not being able to secure the appropriate permits for the work.

Gary Giordano, the district manager of Community Board 5, announced at a meeting on Wednesday that repairs should officially begin at the end of January. He also added that he is concerned about the effects of the M train repairs that will occur simultaneously on the project.

“We still don’t have a definitive date for the Metropolitan Bridge project,” he said. “We’re told, hopefully, now by the end of January. But we’re gonna run into that problem with the M train project starting July 1 which they want to keep to and this contractor, if they ever get on the job, they’re going to have to work around what’s going on with the M train project.”

Giordano was referring to scheduled reconstruction of the Myrtle Avenue train line that will result in a two-month full suspension of M train service between Middle Village-Metropolitan Avenue and Myrtle Avenue-Broadway. That project is scheduled to take place in July and August, and shuttle buses will operate in place of the M train — and will be required to travel through the Metropolitan Avenue/Fresh Pond Road intersection.

As for the Metropolitan Avenue bridge project, once the barriers are put in place, 60th Lane will be converted to a southbound-only roadway. Once construction begins, the Department of Transportation (DOT) will place traffic enforcement agents at the scene seven days a week to help guide drivers and pedestrians around the area.

DOT will be surveying area and the impact on traffic that construction will have to help keep traffic flowing as best as possible.

“The new temporary traffic signal and signage at Metropolitan Avenue and 60th Lane to support the first phase of construction is currently being installed in anticipation of the start of Phase 1,” a DOT spokesperson said. “DOT expects the project to begin this winter.”