It’s not just humans who are sweating out this heatwave — the high temps have also gotten to the Ninth Street Bridge.
The center piece of the proletarian drawbridge across the Gowanus, renovated at a cost of $35 million a little more than a decade ago, no longer closes flush with the pavement — and city officials are blaming Mother Nature’s fiery temperament.
“As you can probably guess, the heat wave has had a huge effect on this bridge so far this summer,” said Department of Transportation spokeswoman Nicole Garcia. “The problem is caused by heat expansion.”
After complaints, city workers installed pieces of wood to function as ramps to get cyclists and drivers over the hump on the eastern side of the span, which is between Smith Street and Second Avenue.
That doesn’t mean that bridge users are happy.
“I’ve gotten a flat tire riding over that bump,” said cyclist Marko Kapes, a Park Sloper who bikes over the bridge almost every day.
Users said they could not remember similar problems during other hot summers, but the city said that the renovated bridge has indeed swelled up in prior heatwaves since it reopened in 1999.
It remains fully operational, opening for passing boat traffic a dozen times per week.
But until the weather cools down, apparently, the multi-million-dollar bridge will be kept in working condition by a couple of plants of $2 plywood.