A portion of the Meadowbrook Parkway is scheduled to be closed next year as state highway officials repair and improve two drawbridges, said Stephen Canzoneri, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.
The work is part of a two-year, $22.5 million DOT project to upgrade the Loop Parkway Bridge and the Meadowbrook Parkway Bridge that connects Ocean Parkway to Jones Beach. Canzoneri said crews would work from barges to make mechanical, electrical and structural upgrades to the bridges.
Officials said the work is long overdue on the 80-year-old drawbridges, both heavily trafficked connections to the barrier island and provide waterway access to many boats.
“The Loop Parkway Bridge is in serious need of repair and the time is ripe for an overhaul,” said state Sen. Todd Kaminsky, who secured the funding for the project.
“This is a significant project on two important Long Island bridges,” Canzoneri said. “After engaging with the community and local officials about the project, we are confident the end result will be two bridges that better serve the needs of both drivers and boaters.”
The project — which began in September — is expected to be completed in the spring of 2019, Canzoneri added. The last time major work was done on the bridges was between 1992 and 1994.
Motorists can expect major closures in March, when the Loop Parkway Bridge would be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., March 5 to 7, and March 12 to 13.
The Loop Parkway Bridge would be closed for the weekend March 9 to 11 and March 23 to 25 between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Drivers are encouraged to access the island via Long Beach Road through Island Park or on the Atlantic Beach toll bridge. Closures and detour routes would be listed on overhead and roadway signs.
Separately, lane closures on Loop Parkway began Monday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. as DOT crews make repairs to three of the operation towers for the Loop Parkway drawbridge. The work is expected to be done in a week.
Canzoneri added that the work is being done during cold weather months to minimize disruption to traffic during the busy summer tourism season. He said workers would replace steel piers, spans and frames of the bridges as well as improve the motors, brakes and lighting.
“Ensuring that our aging infrastructure is repaired or replaced must be a serious priority,” Kaminsky said, “and the state will alert drivers as to when road closures will take place so that there is not a serious disruption created by the bridge construction.”