Pulaski Bridge Bikeway Likely Delayed Until Next Year

The plan will add Image: DOT
The Pulaski Bridge project will give more space to pedestrians and cyclists while calming Brooklyn-bound traffic. Image: DOT

One of the most anticipated livable streets projects of 2014 probably won’t get built until next year.

NYC DOT’s plan to convert a traffic lane on the Pulaski Bridge to a two-way protected bike path, which would relieve crowding on the bridge’s narrow bike-ped path and calm traffic heading toward McGuinness Boulevard in Brooklyn, is still in the review phase, according to DOT. The office of Assembly Member Joe Lentol, who has championed the project, says it is not likely to be installed before the end of this year.

The design for the bikeway was revealed last fall, following many months of agitation by elected officials and advocates. At the time, construction was expected to wrap up in 2014. That now looks unlikely.

“The final bid from the contractor is under review by the Comptroller’s office. By the beginning of November, DOT will begin internal pre-construction meetings,” said Lentol spokesperson Edward Baker in an email. “By the time that process is done they will be headed toward winter and the holiday [construction] embargo. Does not look like work is going to begin this calendar year.”

DOT said a revised timetable will be announced after contractor gets the go-ahead from the city. “The procurement of the construction contract that includes the Pulaski Bridge bikeway modifications is underway,” said an agency spokesperson. “Upon registration and issuance of the Notice to Proceed to the contractor, a meeting will be scheduled with local stakeholders to update on the anticipated construction schedule.”

Baker said more details could emerge by the end of this month.

The plan, which Lentol began to champion in 2012 in response to the crowded conditions on the path, gained traction when DOT committed to the project later that year and initiated an engineering study. Last December, DOT staff said that although the Pulaski project was one component of a larger contract, they hoped to have the project installed before the summer G train shutdown to repair damage from Hurricane Sandy. That was always an optimistic goal, but construction sometime in 2014 was expected. Today, however, the only sign of progress is the removal of lane markings where the bike path will go.

The reallocation of street space is also expected to calm traffic on deadly McGuinness Boulevard by slowing drivers as they exit the bridge. Earlier this year, the state committed $2.5 million in federal funds to the project, with the city picking up the remaining $625,000.

Lentol isn’t the only elected official who wants to see the project built soon. “Communities including Greenpoint have been waiting for work to happen on a new Pulaski Bridge bike lane and we share their sense of urgency,” said Matt Ojala, a spokesperson for Council Member Steve Levin. “Commuters deserve a safe route on the Pulaski Bridge and this project would help to ensure their safety.”

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