Westchester Ave. Bridge to be Raised, CPC Approves

Westchester Avenue Bridge, January 2015. Image credit: Yelp

City Planning approved the raising of the Westchester Avenue Bridge to prevent future truck collisions. On September 6, 2017, the City Planning Commission issued a report approving a City Map amendment to facilitate the raising of a Bronx bridge. The Westchester Avenue Bridge is the most struck bridge in the City. In 2014 it was struck eighteen times, and in 2015 and 2016 it was struck thirteen times. Most of the strikes have been by errant trucks entering the parkway.

Constructed in 1940, the Westchester Avenue Bridge operates as a crossing between Westchester Avenue and the Hutchinson River Parkway. The bridge carries Westchester Avenue and the elevated Number 6 subway line over the Hutchinson River Parkway. Currently, the bridge affords a vertical clearance of ten foot, two inches which is far less than the minimum vertical clearance recommended by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials standards—twelve feet, six inches.

The objective of the project is to raise the bridge sufficiently to meet the national standards. The reconstruction will included replacing the concrete bridge deck and parapets, replacing steel girders and bearings, replacing two water mains and adding a third, relocating various under deck utilities, adding new pedestrian fences, reconstructing the approach roadways, rehabilitating traffic signals, and adding a turn lane.

Image credit: GoogleMaps

Bronx Community Board 10 voted 24-0, and Bronx Community Board 11 voted 24-4, to approve the City Map amendment. On July 24, 2017, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. issued a report recommending approval of the project.

In its report, the Planning Commission found the map amendment to be appropriate. The Commission recognized that the lack of vertical clearance has resulted in numerous strikes by trucks, and noted that the raised bridge would improve vehicular safety.

CPC: Westchester Avenue Bridge, Bronx (C 160253 MMX) (Sept. 6, 2017).

By: Jonathon Sizemore (Jonathon is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2016).

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