The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) recently announced the completion of more than $42 million in bridge replacement and rehabilitation work across Suffolk County.
The work included a new, wider overpass carrying Walt Whitman Road over the Long Island Expressway in Melville and the early completion of repairs to four highway bridges that will ease travel and enhance safety along key routes for the flow of people and commerce on Long Island.
The new Walt Whitman Road Bridge replaced a structure that was built in 1962 and was no longer suitable for the approximately 164,000 vehicles that traveled the structure daily. The area is home to a thriving commercial sector and several national and international companies.
As part of the $28.2 million replacement project, two southbound lanes, one northbound lane and two northbound left-turn lanes were constructed and the Service Road intersections widened to alleviate congestion. Wide shoulders and sidewalks were also added in both directions to accommodate bicyclists and pedestrians. Curb ramps and upgraded pedestrian crossing signals were installed on the North and South Service Roads.
The new, two-span structure was built using metalized steel girders that do not require repainting, which NYSDOT says will reduce maintenance costs. The structure is also jointless, giving the bridge a smoother riding surface. Construction of the new bridge was accomplished in stages to keep traffic flowing throughout the project.
"New York State is building a modern transportation system that will meet the demands of the 21st Century, promote economic growth and development, and keep people and goods moving for many years to come," NYSDOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said in a statement. "These bridge projects on Long Island are a prime example of what it means to build a more resilient infrastructure."
In addition to the Walt Whitman Road project, major bridge construction is also complete on a $14.4 million project that refurbished or repaired four Suffolk County bridges, wrapping up five months ahead of schedule. The Lincoln Avenue Bridge over Sunrise Highway in the Town of Islip also underwent repairs to a steel girder that was damaged during a collision.
SOURCE: Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo / New York State DOT