Northbound Long Beach Bridge reopens

Officials warned of possible traffic delays in Long Officials warned of possible traffic delays in Long Beach due to a malfunction with the drawbridge that connects the barrier island with Island Park to the north. (May 28, 2012) Photo Credit: Jim Staubitser

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After four hours, the drawbridge that connects Long Beach with Island Park was put back into service, Long Beach Police Commissioner Michael Tangney said Monday night.

The northbound side of the Long Beach Bridge, off Long Beach Boulevard, became stuck in the upright position about 6:30 p.m. Monday because of a mechanical malfunction, Tangney said.

The six-lane roadway had to be reduced to two lanes to accommodate travelers heading both north and south.

"Once we realized that Long Beach residents were going to be losing a crucial roadway, we immediately deployed to set up a reverse lane on the southbound lane," Tangney said.

Workers established a northbound lane on the southbound roadway, after shutting down all lanes for a time.

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The bridge is maintained by the Nassau County Bridge Authority, which was called in immediately and fixed the problem that Tangney said was either a tripped wire or circuit breaker.

"The reason for the extended time for the bridge being out of operation, I'm sure it was impacted by the fact that it was a holiday weekend," he said. "Most municipalities operate on a skeleton staff."

He said Long Beach police worked with officers from Nassau County's Fourth Precinct, and there were no incidents on the bridge.

"It's really a very dangerous operation when you reverse lanes," Tangney said. "But we establsihed a very safe ingress and egress."

City Manager Jack Schnirman said he was happy that the bridge was fully functional.

"The Long Beach Police Department responded very quickly and were so conscious with our residents safety," he said.

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