East Williamsburg

Weight, wait: MTA scrambles for detour after DOT’s surprise bridge sign

After an inspection determined a Newtown Creek bridge needed urgent repairs, road officials put up a 13-ton limit sign. Bus drivers from the nearby depot just happened to notice.

November 12, 2023 Jose Martinez, THE CITY
DOT sign near the Grand Street Bridge
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The MTA had to reroute buses on the fly late Wednesday after the city Transportation Department determined the rides are too overweight for a century-old bridge that links Brooklyn and Queens over Newtown Creek.

Buses, which weigh between 21 and 34 tons, had to be redirected away from the city-owned Grand Street Bridge — which has a new 13-ton weight limit — at the request of the city transportation agency, MTA officials confirmed.

“New Yorkers’ safety is our top priority,” Vincent Barone, a DOT spokesperson, said in a statement. “During a regular inspection of the Grand Street Bridge, NYC DOT identified the need for urgent repairs and implemented a temporary, 13-ton weight limit on the span, which will be lifted once urgent repairs are completed.”

The 120-year-old swing bridge, which links industrial sections of Maspeth, Queens and East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, has been placed temporarily off-limits to MTA buses from a neighboring depot while the DOT prepares for a full closure this weekend to do the latest round of repairs to the structure.

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Commuters ride a Q59 bus from Greenpoint toward Queens
Commuters ride a Q59 bus from Greenpoint toward Queens, Nov. 9, 2023. Photo: Jose Martinez/THE CITY

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