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It is life imitating art — as the Williamsburg Bridge will be partially closed this month.
Two lanes of eastbound traffic on the span will again be shut down to traffic this weekend, as city workers will be diverting Brooklyn motorists and trucks to the Manhattan Bridge or, worse, to Queens.
From 4 am to 8 pm this weekend, city workers will be replacing an overhead beam on the bridge’s Brooklyn tower, which has been damaged by multiple impacts from commercial vehicles.
About two weeks ago, a truck entering the bridge from the Brooklyn side, clipped the overhead beam as it was approaching the onramp, temporarily closing the bridge and rerouting several MTA buses.
As a result, two lanes on the eastbound roadway were also closed for the past two weekends, as the Department of Transportation continued its repairs, which snarled traffic at both ends of the bridge.
The walkway and bike path will not be closed, as much of its construction work has been completed.
This year there has been extensive work on all three bridges that span downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan. Last month, the city announced it would rehabilitate cable stays on the Manhattan Bridge, cutting off traffic on the upper and lower portions for as long as three years. And in April, city officials said that Manhattan-bound lanes will be closed for 24 weekends as the Brooklyn Bridge undergoes a $500-million renovation project to paint and resurface its deck.
Major restoration work for the Williamsburg Bridge, a $173-million project, was scheduled to be completed this May, though minor alterations continue to be conducted.
The latest repair work began just after author Gary Shteyngart held a reading for his new book, “Super Sad True Love Story” in Fort Greene.
In his book, Shteyngart’s protagonist nearly misses picking up his girlfriend from the airport because the Williamsburg Bridge collapsed.
Fortunately, for now, it’s just a piece of fiction.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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