By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A Gowanus Expressway overpass repair project in Dyker Heights that had been hampered by delays has now been completed, according to a City Council candidate who said he was keeping tabs on the progress of the work.
John Quaglione, a Republican-conservative who is running against incumbent Democrat Vincent Gentile for the City Council seat in the 43rd District (Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) said he’s pleased that the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) has finally completed its renovation of the 81st Street overpass on Seventh Avenue.
Quaglione said he reached out to DOT officials in June and asked them to expedite the repair project after a Dyker Heights resident brought the roadway conditions to his attention. The 81st Street overpass serves as a link for motorists traveling between Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, Quaglione said.
After receiving a message on Facebook from a resident complaining about the overpass construction project, Quaglione went out to have a look at it himself and talked to residents living near the expressway.
“The residents I spoke with are frustrated that this project appears to be more or less at a standstill, and roadway conditions are terrible,” Quaglione wrote in a letter to DOT.
The repair project made life hard for drivers using the overpass, Quaglione said.
The Gowanus Expressway, a 6.1 mile roadway, is part of Interstate 278, an inter-state roadway. The expressway runs from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. It runs along Seventh Avenue for a portion of its route.
The construction was also interrupted for more than a month, Quaglione said. The surface of the street had been removed, leaving a rough-edged roadway that made for a bumpy ride for motorists. The ripped up street was difficult for motorists to navigate. In addition, Quaglione said the construction delay meant that residents living near the Gowanus Expressway had to look day after day at an overpass littered with construction cones.
No reason was given for the delay.
"I appreciate local residents contacting me about problems in the area which need to be addressed such as this. It is important that our roadways are in the best condition possible for the safety of motorists and for pedestrians," he said.
Quaglione said he was grateful to DOT “for taking action to complete this project."