Construction on New Bike/ADA Bridge Ramp Underway

 Construction on New Bike/ADA Bridge  Ramp Underway

By Katie McFadden

Construction on a new mobility-friendly ramp at the south end (Rockaway side) of the Cross Bay Bridge is underway. When complete, the new ramp will make it easier for bikers and pedestrians, especially those with mobility issues, to access the bridge’s shared pathway.

In October 2022, the MTA officially made the Cross Bay Bridge the first bridge to legally allow bikes to ride over, with designated bike path markings along the shared pedestrian path. Previously, bikers were asked to dismount and walk bicycles over the bridge. It was part of a wider project, the MTA’s Strategic Action Plan, to make the bridge more accessible to bikers and pedestrians. Next up in that plan is the completion of a new ADA and bike-friendly access ramp.

Anyone who’s walked or ridden up the south access ramp to the pedestrian path on the bridge connecting Rockaway and Broad Channel knows how much of a workout it can be for the thighs and calves with that steep incline. In fact, even though the bike path is now open, riders are still supposed to dismount while going up or down the southside ramp until the new ADA ramp is complete, due to the steep incline and decline.

The ramp currently being built will be three levels, forcing pedestrians and bikers to make more turns to get up to the bridge, but at a lower grade incline that is a little easier to manage. It will replace the current ramp.

The plan was funded in the MTA’s 2020-2024 Capital Plan with the contract awarded at the end of 2022. The ramp project is expected to be complete by the end of 2024.

Photos by Bill Gehlhaus.

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