July 21, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
After finally starting work on the long-delayed Pulaski Bridge bikeway, the DOT has hit another setback, with the project’s completion date pushed back to the spring of 2016.
The Department of Transportation told the LIC Post on Tuesday that completion of the bikeway is now expected in April 2016, due to “drainage design issues.”
According to officials, part of the construction process for the bikeway involves installing more than 2,000 feet of barriers. Because of these drainage problems, the DOT has to hold off on installing the barriers, which the agency had originally intended to do this year.
When the DOT unveiled plans for the bikeway, it was expected to be implemented in 2014, but got held up in the contracting process, pushing the end date to spring of 2015.
Further red tape and design complications ensued, setting completion back again several months. A post on the DOT’s Facebook page from May projected completion for December of this year.
Currently, cyclists and pedestrians on the Pulaski share a narrow path. The bikeway project will eliminate a lane of Brooklyn-bound traffic to create a two-way protected bike path next to a protected pedestrian path.
Elected officials on both sides of the bridge expressed some disappointment with the delay.
“We are disappointed that this important project will be delayed and will work with the DOT to get it completed as soon as possible,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “With Citi Bike on its way to Long Island City and commuter cycling continuing to grow in Western Queens, the Pulaski Bridge protected bike lane will provide a critical connector to local residents looking for safe transportation options.”
Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, who represents the Brooklyn side of the bridge, said, “while the postponement of the Pulaski Bridge’s dedicated bike lane is unfortunate, the reliability and effectiveness of the bike lane installation is paramount.”
“I was hopeful my constituents would be on their way to taking advantage of this great addition but now we must wait. I look forward to working with the New York City Department of Transportation on future projects to improve my district’s transportation network,” Lentol continued.
Work on the bikeway project began in March, with the contractor conducting a series of brief drawbridge openings, according to a DOT advisory.