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Briarwood tenants say walking bridge will block view

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Residents of a Briarwood apartment building located along the Van Wyck Expressway service road contend that a new pedestrian bridge that is being constructed by 86th Avenue will obstruct the view from their windows.

According to the state Department of Transportation, the bridge is being built about 200 feet south of an existing pedestrian bridge to so that the acceleration ramp for the Van Wyck Expressway can be lengthened. There are a number of accidents on the ramp because there is not enough room for cars to weave onto the expressway.

“This is massive. It’s not just a simple structure,” said Ruth Mandel, who lives on the fourth floor of a seven-floor apartment building located next to the new bridge at 86-25 Van Wyck Expressway. “It’s in front of my window. I know someone in the building who is thinking of moving because of it.”

Mandel, who is the president of the Briarwood Tenant’s Association, said the view for people living on the floors below her was even more obstructed by the new bridge.

But Robert Adams, an engineer and project manager with the DOT, said residents’ views should be less obstructed with the new bridge than with the old bridge.

“The bridge will be more streamlined, so actually there will be less obstruction,” he said. “The new bridge is supported by individual columns, rather than a solid wall.”

Columns for the new bridge, which will be handicap accessible, have already been poured. The entrances to the new bridge will be at the same location as the entrances to the existing pedestrian bridge.

The 86th Avenue pedestrian bridge is one of a handful of bridges in the area which are being worked on by the DOT .

Bridges that will be rehabilitated with concrete and steel are the Van Wyck Expressway bridge over southbound Main Street; the Queens Boulevard bridge over the Van Wyck Expressway; the Queens Boulevard bridge over Main Street; and the Manton Street bridge over Main Street.

“These bridges are over 50 years old, and we are performing major rehabilitation to extend the life of the bridges,” said Adams.

In addition, three other bridges will be painted: the Hoover Avenue bridge over the Van Wyck Expressway; the ramp to the westbound Queens Boulevard bridge over the Van Wyck Expressway; and the 82nd Avenue pedestrian bridge over the Van Wyck Expressway.

Work on the bridges is expected to go on for the next two years. The 86th Avenue pedestrian bridge is scheduled to be finished by next spring.

Reach reporter Tien-Shun Lee by email at Timesledger@aol.com, or call 229-0300, Ext. 155.

Updated 10:25 am, October 12, 2011
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