As most local motorists have already learned, the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) closed the entire Roslyn Viaduct during this past weekend. The Viaduct was shut down for traffic from 10 p.m. on Friday evening, April 24 and it stayed that way through 5 a.m. on Monday morning, April 27.
The Roslyn News received the DOT's email on Thursday, April 23---too late for the April 25 issue. But we can provide the DOT's explanation for the closure.
In its release, the DOT claimed the closure was for "the protection of motorists and workers."
"This full weekend closure of the Roslyn Viaduct [was] needed to open the newly constructed northern half of the bridge to traffic after paving and striping is completed," DOT officials added. "During this weekend closure, the contractor will also shift the 700-foot long gantry crane from the northern half of the bridge to the southern half where it will be used for the demolition of the old bridge and construction of the remaining southern half of the new bridge."
The DOT noted that motorists were warned of the closure via signs posted in advance of the bridge in both directions and must use alternate travel routes. In addition, posted detour routes were in place along the Long Island Expressway between Glen Cove Road and Searingtown Road.
DOT officials also provided a brief update on the progress of the ongoing construction.
"Once the new north half of the bridge is opened, pedestrian access will be eliminated until the new sidewalk on the south side of the bridge is constructed," the DOT release also stated.
Once that is done, the south side of the viaduct, DOT officials added, is expected to open in 2010. DOT officials did not say when during that year the project would be completed.
Residents who seek further updated information regarding the Roslyn Viaduct Bridge Replacement Project can call at 1-877-4-VIADUCT.