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Fed cash flows for bridge

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will finally be reimbursed for millions of dollars in repairs it made in Marine Park after Hurricane Sandy.

Nearly $3.5 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency funding will reimburse the agency for repairs and improvements on the Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Bridge done last year after the superstorm swept away a sea wall and doused its electrical systems with seawater.

The Marine Parkway Bridge is a four-lane bridge connecting Beach Channel Drive in Rockaway, Queens, to Flatbush Avenue in Marine Park, with nearly 8 million vehicle crossings a year. The bridge is also popular among Brooklyn cyclists who use the bike lane to get to the beaches of Rockaway in the summer. More importantly, the critical causeway is the main evacuation route for residents of the Rockaway Peninsula.

It is also a lift bridge, equipped to raise a portion of its span to allow boats to enter Jamaica Bay.

Hurricane Sandy caused critical damage to the bridge’s electrical and mechanical systems, requiring immediate repair, in addition to damaging several parts of the bridge structure, including an adjacent sea wall and service road.

Most of the money will reimburse the agency for repairs, including $1.5 million to repair erosion caused by the storm surge, $161,144 to repair equipment ruined when the electrical rooms were flooded by salt water, and $600,914 to replace electrical conduits where junction boxes and cables for navigation and security lights were submerged under Sandy’s floodwaters.

The rest of the federal cash will pay for improvements the agency made to the bridge to make it more resistant to damage from future storms, including installing flood-proof doors on electrical rooms, raising 45 security floodlights and 12 navigation lights to flood-safe levels, and adding a layer of “rip rap” — loosely packed rocks — on the sea wall to better protect the waterfront service road.

Sen. Charles Schumer — who pushed a reluctant Congress to provide funding not only to repair the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy but also to guard against future superstorms — hailed the reimbursements for the bridge work.

“Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Bridge is a critical link for residents of Queens and Brooklyn and these federal funds will help make sure it stays that way,” he said.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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