Today’s news:

Part of Greenpoint Ave. Bridge closes

A 70-day reconstruction project has closed one side of the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge over the Long Island Expressway, but part of the span will remain open to traffic throughout the period, the state Department of Transportation said.

The west side of the bridge was shut down at midnight Monday and will stay closed throughout the first phase of construction. The east side of the bridge remains open for two-way traffic with one lane traveling in each direction.

Construction will move to the east side of the bridge halfway through the project, at which point the western portion will reopen, state DOT Deputy Regional Director Subi Chakraborti said.

Although the bridge will be too narrow to allow trucks to turn onto or off the bridge span during reconstruction, it will remain open to truck thru-traffic traveling straight along the avenue.

The $1.4 million improvement falls under the LIE-Queens Reconstruction Project, a $158 million effort to rebuild the LIE from the Queens-Midtown Tunnel to College Point Boulevard.

Twenty-five roadway and pedestrian bridges will be rehabilitated or reconstructed, state DOT project-community liaison Mike Moran said, including LIE overpasses across Woodhaven Boulevard, Queens Boulevard, 108th Street, Junction Boulevard, and the BQE Interchange.

The work involves demolishing and then replacing the concrete deck on each side of the bridge in addition to installing new railings, streetlights, sidewalks and curbs.

Two lanes of the Long Island Expressway will be closed beneath the bridge from midnight until 5 a.m., when demolition work will be completed.

“Although we have the shielding underneath, when we’re doing demolition we don’t want to take any chances for debris to fall on traffic,” Chakraborti said.

To encourage prompt completion of the project, the contractor will be awarded $40,000 for each day completed ahead of the July 23 deadline or penalized $40,000 for each day’s delay up to a $360,000 limit in either case.

Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.

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