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Upper Deck of Queensboro Bridge to Undergo Major Overhaul

Queensboro Bridge (Photo: DOT)

Oct. 18, 2019 By Christian Murray

The Department of Transportation will be replacing the surface of the upper deck of the Queensboro Bridge in what is expected to be a multi-year project, according to Queens DOT Commissioner Nicole Garcia.

The DOT will be announcing precise details of the project in coming months and will be visiting nearby community boards to present the plan.

“The Queensboro Bridge is the workhorse of all the East River bridges,” Garcia said Tuesday at the Hunters Point Civic Association’s monthly meeting. “It carries the most vehicular traffic [of the four bridges], so the project to reconstruct the upper roadway will be a long one.”

The plans have ramifications for those who have been looking to have a separate bicycle and pedestrian path on the bridge.

Currently, bicyclists and pedestrians share a narrow space on the north outer roadway. The advocates—and elected leaders such as Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer– want the north outer roadway to be dedicated for bicyclists with the south outer roadway, currently used by cars, for sole pedestrian use.

Bicyclists and Pedestrians share the north outer roadway (Google)

Garcia said that the DOT plans to use the south outer roadway as a staging area for the construction. She said that the agency is studying the proposal from advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.

“We have heard loud and clear the cyclists and pedestrians are very constrained,” she said. “The reason why we are not just removing the traffic lane and putting down a path is we are going to be using the outer roadway for staging. Construction is going to take some time–it is a big project.”

But Juan Restrepo, Queens Organizer with Transportation Alternatives, said that he recognizes that bridges need to be maintained. However, he said that thousands of bicyclists and pedestrians are using the bridge and it is dangerously overcrowded.

He wants the DOT to look for solutions now, arguing that the public can’t wait for years, as the number of users continues to grow.

“We mostly think the DOT has a very car centric view point on the Queensboro bridge,” Restrepo said, adding that the DOT needs to be more aggressive in promoting bicycle and pedestrian use.

“We want the DOT to push the boundaries,” he said.

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21 Comments

VVNY

There needs to be another bridge or tunnel built from Queens to Manhattan. As population density has grown, the infrastructure stayed the same. That’s why it needs to be constantly fixed, because of all the strain.

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Anonymous

The DOT Commish says this: about the Queensboro Bridge “It carries the most vehicular traffic [of the four bridges], so the project to reconstruct the upper roadway will be a long one.”

If the bridge carries the most traffic, wouldn’t the city want to get the project done as quickly as possible to minimize inconvenience? Why would the bridge’s importance mean it will take a long time to finish? Am I missing something?

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Anon

Hopefully they’re smart enough to balance it with the nightly Midtown tunnel closures that have been going on for years with little to no sign of progress or end in sight. Might have to start swimming home.

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Anonymous

It took 8 years to build the bridge. Guaranteed that this project will take much longer and go way over budget.

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Skip Seglipse

Guaranteed it won’t take more than 8 years or anything close to 8 years.

Just a wild guess but I am guessing that reconstructing a roadway surface with traffic using the bridge is a lot more complicated than building one from scratch.

You sound like another baby boomer complainer who just likes to gripe without understanding the scope of an issue or project.

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Mr g

It seems the car and truck drivers always get the short end of the stick tolls are always rising to support public transportation and I don’t mind that bus some of us work from our vehicles and need to drive to make a living … it seems bicyclists are getting their own lanes all over so go easy on us drivers

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Gerald

Bikers have never had anything in this city, and it’s been extremely dangerous, so the moment bicycle lanes are created for safety reasons, car drivers are up in arms. How about learning to SHARE the road? This city isn’t built for just cars, and as an avid Q60 bus rider, I can tell you how often cars cut buses off, double park and so much more…

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Anonymous

Why take the south outer roadway out?? Keep in mind their are a significant amount of more vehicles using the bridge than their is to pedestrians and cyclists in general and taking a road out for them will just increase congestion. You don’t look at the bigger picture here…. just find a way to make the the pedestrian/cyclist lane wider, or what do we drivers also have to show our voices/ opinions on what we need as well?

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Gerald

How about this, all the single occupancy drivers who have all that money for gas & parking try car-pooling? Why does everyone have to cater to selfish car drivers when there are plenty of people, including myself, that use the bridge daily via bicycle for work and/or pleasure?

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Mac

The bike thing is way out of hand,a couple of thousand people bike at most and only in good weather.its crazy the whole city is turned upside down for the 2% of people who bike and some tourists who think it’s cute to cycle in midtown who haven’t been on a bike in 29 years and we have to make everything safe for them to cycle in the most urban environment in the country.

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2% of?

I agree, there are 90,000 cyclists and deaths are at a record high. Bikes lanes are pointless.

Victor Romero

first of all the bridge is for cars.. so pedestrians can use the train that goes over the bridge.. the N train and & train are very reliable and only a 5 min ride to the city from the queensboro stops..if they feel they dont have enough space with the bikes that use the same lane.. because im sure the use and number of people walking the bridge and the use of bikes is soooooooooo outrageous.. no they arent going to reduce the number of car lanes to put a pedestrian walk way or extend the bike lane… there arent enough lanes for cars now… and the reason why the bridge is the most congested is because its free… maybe if tolls werent so damn high on every other bridge.. people wouldnt crowd this bridge as much.. or how bout we add a bridge? just like there needs to be another bridge over the hudson instead of just the tunnels.. (and the GWB thats all the way uptown)

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Gerald

“The bridge is for cars”, umm, NO! It’s for cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, mopeds, bicycles and pedestrians. Yes they ARE going to reduce the number of car lanes to give more space to pedestrians and bicyclists, and if you don’t like it why don’t you move to Montana?

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no congestion charger advocate

Will not happen to the level you think. Congestion pricing is just a name for a tax. It temporarily reduced a lot of traffic in London and at the moment, they claim a 10% overall reduction. It hit poorer people harder, it hit small businesses hard and London doesn’t seem much cleaner or greener. It’s a tax.

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St. Antony the Great

A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, “You are mad; you are not like us.”

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