Oh, what, you were managing to go about your daily commute without a crippling fear that the very ground beneath you would collapse and plunge you into filthy waters (or worse)? Well, no more. The Daily News reports today that more than half of the bridges in Brooklyn are in need of major repairs, and of those, 15 are currently deemed “structurally deficient” and “fracture critical” by the Federal Highway Administration. To be clear, this is really not good.
So much so that an expert told the paper the classification “means that a bridge could fall at a moments notice” and that “it’s extremely dangerous for people going over bridges” like the Mill Basin Bridge, the bridge over Shore Parkway in Bay Ridge, multiple bridges crossed by the Q train, and several others on Belt Parkway.
The good-ish news here is that the government is actually paying some attention to the problem—during his tenure, Bloomberg’s administration has spent over $6 billion fixing decrepit local bridges, with over $500 million allocated to the Brooklyn Bridge alone, and $365 million more set aside for the troubled Belt Parkway structures. “We all know those bridges are the worst of the worst,” City Councilman Lew Filder told the paper. “Those bridges have launched the careers of so many personal injury lawyers.”
So, good that they’re sort of on top of it, I guess, even if the lag time involved is perturbing. And maybe the kind of infrastructure issue to keep in mind next time we get too wrapped up “New York was better when it was shitty and bankrupt” nostalgia? Or just another thing to be scared of on a day-to-day basis. No need to choose just one option here.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.