Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 12 March 2010 00:00
A new year is with us, one that hopes to see the completion of the protracted renovation of the Roslyn Viaduct.
The project began in 2005 with a 30-month renovation timetable. As any motorist can tell you, that time frame was not even close to being met, even though for the past year, the new north half of the Viaduct is open to traffic.
With that completed, Tully Construction Co. Inc., the contractor employed by the New York Department of Transportation (DOT) has begun the reconstruction of the south half of the bridge.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the DOT has confirmed that the project is “76 percent” complete and that the completion date remains the end of this year, even though no exact month was given. The estimated cost of the project, one that is being funded by federal and NYS governments, is $131,600,000. During reconstruction of the southern half, three lanes of traffic will remain open on the new north span of the bridge, with two of those lanes open in the direction of rush hour traffic from Monday mornings through Saturday evenings.
According to DOT officials, the new travel lane pattern is as follows: Two lanes Westbound, one lane eastbound, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Two lanes eastbound, one lane westbound, 3 to 10 p.m. One lane in Each Direction, 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. (Monday - Saturday). On Saturdays evenings at 10 p.m., one lane in each direction will remain open through 5 a.m. Monday mornings. One lane in each direction remains open during the hours of 2 to 3 p.m. and 5 to 6 a.m. (Monday - Saturday) so lanes can be re-positioned back into the successive reversible lane pattern. While work is ongoing, motorists are advised to maintain the reduced speed limit of 30 mph within the work zone as posted. DOT officials note that with the start of work on the southern portion of the bridge, the pedestrian access to the sidewalk on the south side of the bridge has been eliminated and will not be restored until the south bridge and new sidewalk are completed. Officials add that motorists traveling eastbound on the new half of the Viaduct are able to access the exit ramp to East Broadway and Bryant Avenue during the reconstruction of the south portion of the bridge.
In addition, there is no direct access from Church Street onto the Roslyn Viaduct. Cars should not cross the Do Not Enter sign on Witte Lane to access the Viaduct. Motorists heading south on Church Street must make a right turn onto Witte Lane to Bryant Avenue and then make a left turn onto Bryant Avenue and continue through Roslyn to access westbound Northern Boulevard.
The Roslyn Viaduct was first constructed in 1949. Prior to the actual work, renovation of the structure had been on the minds of DOT officials. The viaduct was constructed with a pin-hanger design, one that employs concrete piers to prop up the steel sections. Beginning in 1968, such bridges, for safety reasons, were no longer being constructed in New York State. Further, the overwhelming volume of traffic crossing the bridge every day has also, in the minds of DOT officials, made renovation necessary. The bridge was constructed just as Nassau County was set for a population explosion and a new structure is necessary to handle that volume of traffic.