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Feb 8, 2017 12:48 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Upcoming Repairs Will Force Drawbridge Closures In Westhampton Beach This Summer

Bridges in Westhampton Beach will be restored this summer by Suffolk County. BY ERIN MCKINLEY
Feb 8, 2017 12:48 PM

The two drawbridges that connect Dune Road with the mainland in Westhampton Beach are scheduled to receive major overhauls over the next year, simultaneous renovation work that will require that Suffolk County officials alternate closures of the overpasses at times during the coming summer.

The work is being done to rehabilitate both county-owned bridges, with crews focusing on the Beach Lane overpass first before shifting gears and moving on to the Jessup Lane bridge by mid-summer, according to a request for proposals advertised by the Suffolk County Department of Public Works. The county, which will be accepting bids on the work through March 24, expects crews to be working on both structures simultaneously, though they are supposed to keep at least one bridge open at all times, according to Westhampton Beach Mayor Maria Moore.

It was not immediately clear what spurred the upcoming rehabilitation work as Gilbert Anderson, the commissioner of the Suffolk County Department of Public Works, was not immediately available for comment.

On Wednesday, Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming estimated that the work is expected to cost approximately $8.1 million.

According to its request for proposals, the county wants to repair rusted steel and replace all deteriorating timber, as well as update the mechanical systems that control both drawbridges. The work also calls for repairing all railings and bridge bearings, sealing cracks, and replacing doors and windows on the control towers. Both structures will also receive fresh coats of paint.

Ms. Moore said this week that her village will work with county officials to minimize disruptions to those who need to cross over the bridges, which are heavily traveled in the summer months. She said that both bridges will never be closed at the same time, and that the closures will not occur over the weekends in the summer. Crews are expected to complete some of the work over the weekends, however.

To help spread word about the work and the bridge closures, Suffolk County will be providing the village with digital highway signs that will be updated every morning and provide information about that day’s closures. It was not immediately clear where the signs would be placed.

“It is unfortunate that it will go into the summer season, but it can’t be avoided,” Ms. Moore said of the work. “There is a lot of electrical and mechanical work to be done.”

According to the county’s bid specifications, a contractor is expected to be selected by the end of March, with work starting immediately afterward. Officials will focus on the Beach Lane Bridge first and that work is expected to start in April and wrap up by August. Two months earlier, in June, crews are expected to start repairs on the Jessup Lane bridge and those renovations are not expected to be finished until January 2018 at the earliest.

Suffolk County officials carried out a similar $3 million rehabilitation project on the Quogue Bridge on Post Lane. That work, which suffered delays, started in late 2013 and wrapped up in December 2014. Unlike the upcoming work in Westhampton Beach, that project required intermittent closures of the only bridge in Quogue accessing Dune Road.

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Repair work on the bridges in Summer???

How absurd...
By aging hipster (169), Southampton on Feb 9, 17 7:24 AM
Perhaps they should do the repair work on days like today.
By tenn tom (218), remsenburg on Feb 9, 17 8:33 AM
Right, don't start in March or April. Best wait till July around the 4th or something.
By lirider (263), Hampton Bays on Feb 12, 17 9:03 PM