Today’s news:

Some relief on Hamilton Ave - Lanes reopened on vital span; further work continues

The Hamilton Avenue Bridge has reopened to two-way traffic and three lanes of traffic in both directions, nearly two weeks sooner than the original project completion date of August 31.

One of four lanes in each direction will remain closed in both direction as crews continue restoration of road surfaces, bridge testing and start installation of light sculptures atop the bridge buildings as part of the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) commitment to the Percent for the Art Program.

The northbound median lane is scheduled to open around Labor Day and the southbound median lane is scheduled to open around mid-October, bringing the span’s full four lanes of traffic in each direction into operation.

The bridge, which is actually two side-by-side movable bridges, is located between Smith Street and Hamilton Place. Constructed in 1942, it is one of three remaining skewed, moveable, bascule bridges in the United States and is designed to open to let marine traffic enter the Gowanus Canal from New York Harbor.

Vehicle volume over the bridge averaged 45,000 daily in 2005, when initial reconstruction began. The project has progressed for several years as DOT worked to ensure limited impact to motorists, pedestrians and nearby communities.

The northbound bridge was scheduled to be closed for two months in the summer of 2007 and the southbound bridge was scheduled to be closed for the same period this summer. Following on incentives gained from finishing the 2007 project two days early, the contractor finished the 2008 portion 14 days ahead of time, and is earning financial incentives for early completion. The completed project will provide the public with a new, reliable transportation facility for years to come.

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