Triboro Bridge Renovations Nearing Completion
With a new roadway bed fully in place on its Queens side from 26th Street to the Ward’s Island anchorage, the $150 million rehabilitation of the Triborough Bridge, the largest in the history of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Bridges and Tunnels, is almost completed. "We will be done by spring and I’m really pleased to say we’re under schedule by about four months," said Frank Pascuale, MTA Bridges and Tunnels Director of Public Affairs at the February meeting of Community Board 1.
Eight lanes were removed one at a time in separate stages using an innovative construction technique of overhead cranes running on tracks. The original concrete roadway was replaced with lighter steel decks and asphalt overlays, as well as new concrete portions. In addition, renovation of the suspension span across the bridge has finished, ending lane closures to traffic.
Completion of the center median and roadway lighting will come next, weather cooperating, and then painting of the bridge towers over Astoria Park and Ward’s Island will begin on Ward’s Island this summer.
Pascuale said one new traffic lane has been added by eliminating a pedestrian walkway. "We’re working on a number of different changes that will dovetail with what’s happening on Randall’s Island," he said. The city plans to make Randall’s Island a major recreational center.
"We really do appreciate the patience, particularly of the people who live in Astoria," Pascuale said, adding that all local parking will be returned to normal once the project is done.
In a presentation by the Department of Housing Preservation (HPD), Julius Wilson, Housing Services, marketing manager spoke about a series of free lead poisoning prevention and environmental seminars to be hosted by HANAC and HPD at I.S. 204 from 6 to 9 p.m. on February 19, March 4 and March 18.
"There is a high incidence of lead poisoning cases in the area," said Wilson, citing evidence from a national study. Under Local Law 101 of 2004, which will take effect this August, a presumption of lead-based paint exists in any apartment building built before 1960. All peeling paint must be removed by 2007 in those buildings where children live.
The law was enacted after the City Council overrode a veto of it by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "This law is against homeowners and only benefits trial lawyers and contractors," said Board Member George Alexiou, who also heads the Greek American Homeowners Association.
A previous law that limited the ability of a tenant to sue a landlord was ruled in violation of environmental law by the state Court of Appeals last July, forcing the city to enact a new law. The seminars are targeted at building owners, tenants, local contractors and neighborhood hardware stores.
"We want people to work smart, work clean and work wet," said Wilson.
HPD has some 300 inspectors in training. "The city will only go into an apartment if there is a complaint made," said Wilson. "Then we’re obligated to go in and test the surface."