Northern Parkway construction closure postponed

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Friday's planned closure of the Northern State Parkway at Route 110 in Melville has been postponed while massive steel beams that will form the structure of the parkway's new overpass are delivered.

State officials said 10 beams weighing about 250 tons each were being brought by truck over the Triborough/RFK Bridge under police escort Thursday night, said Eileen Peters, spokeswoman for the New York State Department of Transportation.

The Northern State was to be closed Friday night for a painting project.

Two of the beams were scheduled to arrive early Friday, with another four due early Saturday, and four more on Monday, Peters said.

State officials could not immediately say where the beams' originating point was, only that they were from within the state and had to be trucked across the heavily congested George Washington Bridge -- which has been affected by construction on another state DOT bridge project: reconstruction of the Alexander Hamilton span across the Harlem River.

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The deliveries are escorted by six to 10 NYPD and State Police vehicles. After crossing on to Long Island, the convoys will travel via the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to Hillside Avenue/NY Route 25B to Jericho Turnpike (NY Route 25) to NY Route 110, Peters said.

The first delivery was scheduled to reach the Nassau-Suffolk border about 1 a.m. Friday. The DOT received no complaints after last week's delivery of the first 16 beams for the overpass.

"That [the beam transport] must take priority over the planned road painting," Peters said, adding the public would be notified when the closure of the parkway is rescheduled.

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The $56 million bridge replacement project began last May and includes improving the interchange entrance and exit ramps as well as widening Route 110 to improve safety and traffic flow, officials said.

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