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MTA Press Releases

Press Release
February 5, 2013
CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER^Robert F. Kennedy Bridge Harlem River Lift Span Closed Overnight Friday, Feb. 8th And Intermittent Closures Overnight Feb. 11th

The RFK Bridge Harlem River Lift Span will be closed to all traffic in both directions on Fri. Feb. 8th from 12:01 a.m. to 5 a.m. while a biennial inspection is conducted. Motorists must use an alternate route.

"It's rare that we close the lift span for this amount of time but this is a very specific type of inspection that will take an intricate look at the bearing assembly, a key component that helps lift the 310-foot section of the span," said Acting RFK Engineer Director Justine Lorentzson. The work requires a full 5-hour closure since the 310-foot section of the span must remain in the lifted position during the inspection.

There will also be intermittent, full bridge closures lasting between 15 and 30 minutes on Monday, Feb. 11th between 12:01 a.m. and 5 a.m. while the inspection work continues.

"We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience but this testing is just one more way that we're working to keep the nearly 77-year-old bridge in great shape so it can continue to service the public for many years to come," said MTA Bridges and Tunnels Director of Bridges North Cassandra Edghill.

Regular inspections by independent consulting engineers are conducted at MTA crossings every two years. Bridges and Tunnels reports the results to the New York State Department of Transportation. These independent tests, along with regular inspections by Bridges and Tunnels' Engineers, are used to plan future Capital Budget improvement and rehabilitation projects.

The Harlem River Lift Span, which is part of the sprawling Robert F. Kennedy Bridge complex, is lifted an average 25 times a year for monthly maintenance testing and marine traffic. The waterway is regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard and lifts, when requested, are mandatory.