For Manhattan Beach residents this is a bridge too far.
The Department of Transportation will close the pedestrian bridge that connects Emmons Avenue to Shore Boulevard from March 2 until May 25 for repairs. But one resident said the closure is going to impact the dozens of pedestrians who cross the bridge as part of their daily commute to and from the train station on Sheepshead Bay Road.
“A lot of those people that walk to the station walk over the bridge — that is the main part of the problem,” said Cliff Bruckenstein, a member of Community Board 15.
Without the bridge, residents must walk all the way around the bay, which adds an extra 10 or 15 minutes for pedestrians — and one longtime local said the department should wait until the weather is warmer before it begins work.
“You do it in the warm weather when people don’t have to walk across the bridge. But on March 1— it is cold,” said Judy Baron, president of the Manhattan Beach Community Group. “There are other times of the year to do it.”
Baron said the bridge closure will be especially unfortunate for elderly or injured Manhattan Beach residents who won’t be able to handle the longer route, especially in the cold weather.
“People who are healthy can manage to walk around — people who are not healthy cannot manage to walk around,” she said.
The work on the bridge is necessary to combat an infestation of the wood-eating organisms called marine borers, according to a Department of Transportation spokesman.
Bruckenstein said the community board discussed adding a temporary bridge during the construction period, but it was simply too expensive. He said the construction will be a disruption but agreed that, ultimately, it is necessary.
“The work has to be done,” he said.