By Carlotta Mohamed
City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Woodhaven) is calling on the MTA to expedite repair work to the Marine Parkway Bridge that connects the Rockaways to Brooklyn.
In an Oct. 26 letter penned to MTA Bridges & Tunnels President Cedrick Fulton, Ulrich is requesting the MTA to provide a detailed timeline of the rest of the project, which has inconvenienced residents and commuters for more than two years.
“For more than two years, my constituents have faced significant delays during their daily commutes. Just yesterday, residents were waiting more than 30 minutes to cross the bridge due to the construction and subsequent traffic,” Ulrich said in the letter. “While everyone acknowledges an 80-year-old bridge will often need repairs and maintenance work, the current repair job has taken more than two years, with no end in sight.”
Ulrich noted that the ongoing repairs have exasperated travel conditions on the peninsula, where transportation options are already limited.
“The Rockaways remain a transportation desert and the Marine Parkway Bridge is one of the only routes off the peninsula. It’s imperative the bridge return to full capacity as quickly as possible,” said Ulrich.
For weeks on end, the MTA has released announcements about weeknight closures, to carry out the work during hours that impact the least amount of people.
The bridge is currently closed to traffic in both directions during overnight hours on weekdays from Nov. 5 through Nov. 17 between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. During that time, all traffic will be detoured to the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. including the Q35 bus.
The latest work being done, contributing to necessary overnight closures, is for upgrades of the lift mechanism on the lift span of the bridge, according to the MTA.
An MTA spokesperson said they believe they’re coming to the end of repairs soon.
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha