Surveying begins in effort to replace Maspeth’s Grand Street Bridge over Newtown Creek

Photo by Alejandra O'Connell-Domenech

Traffic is expected to flow free and clear – or as much as can be expected over the Grand Street Bridge – throughout the week as the city Department of Transportation (DOT) does a topographic survey prior to replacing the structure still almost a decade in the offing.

DOT released an advisory to community boards, in this case CB 5, to alert residents that the mapping effort would be underway for the next week.

Last the southwestern Queens community heard, the completion date for the new span of bridge was projected for 2017, which had one attendee at the CB5 transportation committee meeting asking, “Is it gonna stand up that long?”

At almost 115 years old, the Grand Street Bridge has not rotated to allow vessels to pass underneath since before Superstorm Sandy, which wiped out a critical electrical components.

The design phase is not even scheduled to begin until 2021, but in the topographical survey will look into options for expanding the roadway, according to DOT, which is notoriously narrow for drivers crossing the boundary in either direction from Brooklyn or Queens.

“It is an example of how cooperative one can be that people can stop and let another vehicle go by. I wish other drivers on other roads and bridges were as considerate these drivers are. We need more consideration on our roads and bridges,” Giordano told QNS in January.

Boats traveling underneath the bridge face similar space constraints; at low tide they face the peril of bottoming out, and at high tide they have to meet a clearance of nine feet.

A request for proposals to contractors last year illustrated the decrepit state of the electrical components, the fenders which can clearly be seen as rotting away and the structural state of the bridge is not up to task for its current workload. Contractors will be required to provide a replacement with a minimum 75-year lifespan.

DOT did not immediately respond to an inquiry of whether the project has an updated completion time.

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