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City, Addabbo try to solve Howard Beach congestion

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Lisi de Bourbon, spokeswoman for the city Department of Transportation, said the agency is...

By Alex Davidson

The reconstruction of the Cross Bay Bridge in Howard Beach is underway and with it have come headaches and congestion that have aggravated rush hour traffic.

Lisi de Bourbon, spokeswoman for the city Department of Transportation, said the agency is attempting to alleviate spikes in traffic during peak driving hours by adding an additional southbound traffic lane. This, she said, means the construction has only taken away one lane on the northbound side of the bridge.

“That was our response,” she said. “The whole project should be done by August 2004.”

City Councilman Joe Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) was able to secure several traffic officers from the Police Department to help facilitate traffic flow during rush hour. He said he has also contacted Verizon, the corporation responsible for timing street lights, to ask it for better coordination of the area’s traffic signals.

“Hopefully now, with the assignment of these Traffic Enforcement Agents to the boulevard, vehicular traffic will be moving along at a better-flowing pace,” Addabbo said.

The 64-year-old Cross Bay Bridge is 118 feet long and 106 feet wide and passes over North Conduit and South Conduit Avenues. De Bourbon said more than 80,000 vehicles use the bridge daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Replacement plans for the new bridge call for it to be constructed starting the outside as the new, permanent structure replaces temporary bridges that will be built on both sides of the old bridge.

De Bourbon said the bridge project is in the final days of the second construction stage, which is focusing on the bridge’s west side. She said there are five stages in the whole effort that will cost $9.8 million.

So far, de Bourbon said, the ground surface on the west side portion of the bridge has been demolished, and workers are removing its internal steel structure. During the next few weeks, a new substructure of steel will be installed along with new grading.

The west side portion of the bridge will be finished by the end of next month, de Bourbon said. The DOT will continue its reconstruction process across the bridge, moving from west to east, she said.

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156

Posted 7:16 pm, October 10, 2011
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