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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #08-029

DOT Announces Hamilton Avenue Bridge Will Re-Open to Two-Way Traffic Tonight, Ahead of Schedule

Three southbound lanes over the Gowanus Canal opening two weeks ahead of schedule

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced that the Hamilton Avenue Bridge will reopen to two-way traffic tonight and that three lanes of traffic in both directions will be open by the end of this weekend, nearly two weeks sooner than the original project completion date of August 31st.

One of four lanes in each direction will remain closed in both direction as crews continue restoration of road surfaces, bridge testing and start installation of light sculptures atop the bridge buildings as part of the DOT's commitment to the Percent for the Art Program. The northbound median lane is scheduled to open around Labor Day and the southbound median lane is scheduled to open around mid-October, bringing the span's full four lanes of traffic in each direction into operation.

The bridge, which is actually two side-by-side movable bridges, is located between Smith Street and Hamilton Place. Constructed in 1942, it is one of three remaining skewed, moveable, bascule bridges in the United States and is designed to open to let marine traffic enter the Gowanus Canal from New York Harbor. Vehicle volume over the bridge averaged 45,000 daily in 2005, when initial reconstruction began. The project has progressed for several years as DOT worked to ensure limited impact to motorists, pedestrians and nearby communities.

The northbound bridge was scheduled to be closed for two months in the summer of 2007 and the southbound bridge was scheduled to be closed for the same period this summer. Following on incentives gained from finishing the 2007 project two days early, the contractor finished the 2008 portion 14 days ahead of time, and is earning financial incentives for early completion. The completed project will provide the public with a new, reliable transportation facility for years to come.

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