The Guider Avenue Bridge is back in business.
The city Department of Transportation reopened the span on Dec. 2 after a nearly two-year-long repair project that forced drivers from Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach to take a cumbersome detour through residential side streets to reach the Belt Parkway.
The bridge connects Coney Island Avenue at Guider Avenue to the Manhattan-bound entrance to the highway, giving drivers headed towards Downtown access to the Belt Parkway without having to cross over the Coney Island Avenue Bridge onto Shore Parkway.
Residents from Brighton Beach to Sheepshead Bay said the new bridge is a big improvement for local drivers.
“It’s nice to have it open again,” said Cliff Bruckstein. “The bridge looks great.”
The city closed the span for repairs in February, 2010, detouring drivers over the Coney Island Avenue Bridge to Avenue Z, where they made a left at the congested intersection, and another left onto Hubbard Street two blocks away to reach the Belt Parkway.
Drivers complained that the route caused traffic jams on Coney Island Avenue before the turn onto Avenue Z, where parking spaces had to be removed to create enough room for turning vehicles.
“Traffic was backed up for two blocks,” said Theresa Scavo, the chairwoman of Community Board 15. “You lost a good 10 minutes trying to get back to the Belt Parkway.”
The bridge’s pedestrian walkway is slated to reopen next spring, once construction on the bridge is complete.