Plaza eying grant to fix ‘structurally deficient’ railroad bridge

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The Village of Great Neck Plaza, which owns the Barstow Road bridge that goes over the Long Island Rail Road, is eying a state grant that could fund most of its repair. (Photo from Google Maps)
The Village of Great Neck Plaza, which owns the Barstow Road bridge that goes over the Long Island Rail Road, is eying a state grant that could fund most of its repair. (Photo from Google Maps)

The Village of Great Neck Plaza is eying a state grant to repair the Barstow Road bridge it owns over the railroad, which the state Department of Transportation has deemed “structurally deficient.”

The designation does not necessarily mean the bridge is unsafe, which would require the bridge to be closed to traffic, according to the state Department of Transportation. But, the transportation department says, it means a bridge “would require repairs or modifications to restore their condition or improve their functionality.”

This particular bridge, which is owned by the village, scored a 4.37 out of seven. A score of five or higher is considered “good condition.”

Patricia O’Byrne, the village clerk-treasurer, said a New York state bridge program grant, if pursued and secured by the village, could provide 95 percent of the funds to fix the bridge – which would otherwise be a very costly project.

“It’s a win-win if we can get it, so the mayor just wants authorization to pursue the grant and see if we can get that,” O’Byrne said at a Wednesday night board meeting, adding that “it’s better than any of the other grants we’ve ever done.”

Another bridge, which is owned by Nassau County and also crosses over the railroad, received a score of 4.5. The Middle Neck Road bridge, another county-owned bridge in Great Neck Plaza, received a 5.5 but has been deemed “functionally obsolete” by the state transportation department.

O’Byrne said Mayor Jean Celender has reached out to Ellen Birnbaum, who represents Great Neck in the Nassau County Legislature, regarding the state of the bridges to see what can be done.

Five of the peninsula’s nine villages do not have bridges within their borders, according to state data, and only Thomaston and Great Neck Plaza actually own any of their respective bridges.

Lake Success is the only village home to the more bridges than Great Neck Plaza on the peninsula, having four of them, but they are all owned by the New York State Department of Transportation.

O’Byrne said the village will likely know by April if they are “going to go forward” with pursuing the grant.

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